INTRODUCTION Had our grandparents been told that it would be possible to speak to friends by means of a telephone to almost any part of the world simply by lifting a receiver, and asking for a number, they would have laughed us to scorn. Yet today that is an accomplished fact. What those grandparents would have thought had they been told about modern wireless may be better imagined than expressed. This goes to prove how ready the world is to scoff at some new thought or fact unknown to it, whatever the generation, past, present or future. What now appears to be wonderful and bordering on the miraculous, will be accepted by the next generation as a normal event. It is only a matter of progress and evolution. A prophet is never a hero in his own country, neither for that matter is a pioneer, whose ideas and aspirations differ from the established conception of things, received with any great enthusiasm by his fellow-man. “Speaking with the dead! How absurd! Bunk! Eyewash! Piffle! Impossible!” These are a few of the expressions of those who do not understand, and who have never given a moment’s thought to such a possibility. I confess being guilty of this attitude before I set out to prove or to disprove the possibility of spirit communication. As a member of the Church of England, I believed in life eternal, but I could not visualise or grasp its meaning to the fullest extent. I knew that when a person died, and was buried or cremated, that was the end of the body. What was it that survived? And in what tangible form? That was my problem, and, I believe, everybody’s problem. Have I succeeded in solving that problem? Well, I will leave it to you to judge from the experiences I have had in psychic research covering many years of intense investigation. It may be of interest to relate how I came to delve into the mystery of the after-life. My wife, who has now passed on, and I accepted a friend’s invitation to dinner. During a discussion after dinner, Spiritualism and psychic matters were mentioned. I was totally ignorant of these subjects and took no part in the discussion. I was content to listen. I gathered that there were among my friend’s guests that evening some who had attended séances - at that time I had not the slightest notion what a
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séance was - and had experienced phenomena which could not be produced by human agency. That was what we were told, but I am afraid I held other views, although I did not express them. I continued to listen to what was said, but I was not very impressed. In fact, I thought it to be the leg-pull of the evening. The views I held that evening began to react. I started by asking myself what right had I to criticise when I was not competent to do so. As an architect, I knew I was competent to express an expert opinion on architecture. My training plus experience had made me an authority, but I had to go through years of routine before I became conversant with the profession. This applies to any other profession. If the High Court desires guidance and help on a medical problem, it seeks the assistance of a medical expert, because he would be competent to express an opinion. The court would certainly not accept the evidence of an unqualified man. Yet, in psychic matters, it is the unqualified individual who sets himself up as a critic. If there is to be any criticism - and there is plenty of room for it - let it come from those who have a wide knowledge of psychic matters. I talked the matter over with my wife, and we decided to investigate the truth of psychic manifestations for ourselves. We heard that many people started experimenting with a table, and we decided to follow their example. We did not go to any Spiritualist church, nor did we read any books on the subject. We thought it would be better to be free from these influences. We proceeded in a simple way. Unless business prevented it, we ‘sat for our inquiry twice a week for an hour. We took up our positions at the table, sitting opposite each other. Sometimes we sat in complete darkness and other times in subdued light. We found complete darkness best because our thoughts were not distracted by objects in the room. We always opened our sitting with a hymn, followed by a prayer and second hymn. The rest of the period was spent in silence. I do not want to discourage earnest and sincere investigators when I say that my wife and myself sat over a period of nearly twelve years before we got even a rap on the table. Just remember the best things of life are the hardest to get and, to enjoy them to their fullest, one has to work very hard.

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CHAPTER ONE HOW THE VOICES ARE HEARD As this book deals mainly with direct voice phenomena, I will explain in simple language, and as briefly as possible, what they are. There is a mistaken idea that the “voices” heard are those of the spirit communicators. If we stop and think, we realise that everything of our physical make-up is left on the earth when the soul passes into the spirit world, where it manifests through the etheric counterpart of our being. In the etheric state everything is expressed by mental and spiritual vibrations. When spirit entities communicate their messages by means of direct voice, they transmit their thoughts to an apparatus constructed from the power taken from the sitters. The only physical contribution is the medium’s larynx. The larynx is dematerialised and then rematerialised in a form required by the spirit entity. The larynx is then attached to an ectoplasmic pipe, which in turn is connected by means of an ectoplasmic rod to an ectoplasmic soundbox. All the apparatus is built up outside and away from the medium. The next process is to bring about suitable conditions for spirit communication, or, in other words, getting the right wave length. Just like the wireless, where it is necessary to tune in the instrument to a wave-length to receive the station we desire to hear, so we have to tune in to the higher vibrations of the spirit world. The only wavelengths on which the spirit world operates are love, sympathy, harmony and faith. The sitters are responsible for supplying the right vibrations. Having gone so far, one has to wait with patience for any communication. The spirit entity who desires to communicate transmits his thoughts on to the ectoplasmic sound-box. The thought-vibrations are then built up in some ingenious way on to the ectoplasmic larynx so that they become audible to the sitters’ physical hearing. When the channel of communication is free from disturbing vibrations, the “voices” come through loudly and distinctly. The individuality of the spirit entity cannot be mistaken once he has accustomed himself to this new experience. Dialects are recognised, and I have heard many foreign languages spoken. The medium is in a normal state during a direct voice séance. There is no need for trance, because the medium’s body and intelligence are not required in this type of phenomena.
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A lot of so-called direct voice phenomena is nothing more than a spirit entity taking charge of a medium when in trance and speaking through his lips. That is trance mediumship, and should not be confused, as it so often is, with direct voice. In the early stages of development a trumpet - it is really a megaphone is needed to amplify the weak voices so that they may be audible to sitters. The megaphone should be constructed of light aluminium or celluloid. It should be on the small side. The one we used was not more than fourteen inches long, with four inches diameter at one end, tapering to three quarters of an inch. It needs power for the spirit entity to levitate the megaphone and hold it, suspended in space. It is for this reason it should be light in construction. When a spirit entity is using a megaphone, it is usually suspended above or some little distance away from the medium, not in front of the medium’s lips. Neither is it necessary for the medium to touch the megaphone in any way or under any circumstances. As spirit entities get accustomed to the new vibrations, and providing conditions are good, they are able to carry the megaphone to different parts of the room and speak, so that the sitters are able to hear the “voice” coming from other than one fixed place. When we speak of “direct voice,” we are apt to lead people to believe that it is the actual “voice” of the spirit communicator we hear. This is not so. If it were, there would be no logical reason for the use of the medium’s larynx. Are the “voices” of the spirit entities like their earthly ones, and can they be recognised? This question is often asked. Sometimes they have been and sometimes they have not. It all depends on the vibrations operating at the time of communication. Like many people, I was under the impression that spirit communicators spoke with their own voices. It was not until a spirit entity, who purported to be my mother, addressed me one evening that I realised my mistake. All the “voices” I had heard up to then were those of strangers. Every “voice” had a different intonation, and it was because of this I had imagined I was hearing the real voice. On this particular occasion a female “voice” said, “Hello, my boy.”
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“Who is that?” I replied. Expecting to be addressed by name, I was surprised when the “voice” said, “Hail smiling morn,” adding, “It’s your mother, my boy.” “Hail smiling morn” had a special significance, and only I knew to what it referred. The evidence that was given could have been known only to my mother, but I was puzzled because I could not recognise her voice. Later I mentioned this fact to my mother, and received my first explanation of the method of communication. Anyway, I was comforted in the knowledge of my mother having survived the grave, and that she was happier in her new life than she had been on earth. CHAPTER TWO COMING OF THE “VOICE” We had moved into another house. It was charmingly situated a short distance from the quaint old cathedral city of Llandaff, Glamorgan. The atmosphere was one of intense restfulness and peace, and all our friends remarked on this before they had been inside a couple of minutes. There was a glorious garden, at the end of which ran a canal, and in the distance could be seen the Garth mountain. There was a pleasant room which I thought would be suitable for our research. I decorated the room in apple green and cream, and arranged it to represent a little chapel. When I had completed the decorations and arrangements, I introduced my curate friend of the church where I was a member to what I called our sanctuary. He was generous in his praises, and asked that I should acquaint him with anything we might experience. We had not finally completed the arranging of the whole house when we had a surprise visit from a London friend who was on a business visit to Cardiff. He was a consulting engineer and director of a well-known engineering firm in Yorkshire. He too was interested in psychic matters but had not yet met with any result. On previous visits he had joined us in our investigations. During the evening meal we discussed our investigations. We told him that we had been too busy since moving to have any sittings, but we hoped to resume once we had got straight. Our friend suggested that we had a sitting later that evening. We could not very well carry on with our

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work while he was with us, so we agreed to hold what would be our first sitting since the break caused by removing. We retired to the séance room and took our places round a small table. We joined in the singing of a hymn, which was played on the gramophone, after which I offered a prayer, followed by the playing of another hymn. We put out the lights, and with our hands resting on the table sat in silence. We had been sitting for a little while when the silence was interrupted by distinct rappings coming from underneath the table top. We felt the vibrations. This was something new. To make sure that neither of us was unconsciously rapping the table, I suggested that we linked hands, and sat further away from the table. We did this, and to our amazement the rappings continued. What was more startling, we heard rappings on the walls in different parts of the room. There was a further surprise in store for us. Following the cessation of the rappings, we placed our hands again on the table. We were discussing the raps, when we felt the table swaying to and fro like a clock pendulum. To satisfy ourselves that we were not responsible, we tried to stop it, but despite our combined physical efforts the table continued to sway. It was only for fear of breaking the table in our efforts to stop it that we eased off. Even then the table continued to rock without our hands touching it! Eventually it stopped of its own accord, but by this time we were alarmed. However, we decided to carry on a little longer to see if anything else happened. It did! We had placed our hands on the table again, and to our astonishment felt it rising off the floor. Higher and higher it rose until we had to stand in order that our hands could continue to rest on the table. Having gone so far, we decided to check the table’s upward progress by pulling it down. Our exertions were fruitless. The table continued to rise higher and higher. When it had got above our heads, I suggested that we hung on to it. We did, and up we started to go. We were lifted clean off our feet. To say that we were alarmed is to put it mildly. I was scared. We let go and came to the floor with a bump. The table went on its upward course until we heard it touch the ceiling, where it remained for a time. When the table had come down and taken up its original position, I said that I had had enough for one night. Our combined weight totalled nearly thirty-five stones, yet we were lifted off our feet by some unknown power with such ease that we might not have turned the scale
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with a feather as the weight. That was our dilemma, and rather a frightening one, too. While I was expressing my opinion on what had happened, and was about to close the sitting, we heard something fall on the table. We discovered it to be a cushion which had been taken from another part of the room, some distance from where we were. Just as swiftly as the cushion came, so it was taken away. I got up from my chair to put on the light. As I did so, I felt something brush the side of my face. It was very uncanny. I instinctively put up my hand and caught hold of a cushion. I told my wife and my friend what had happened, and said: “Here’s going. I do not know about you two, but I am not staying a moment longer.” That was the end of the first sitting after nearly twelve years’ patient investigation at which anything of an unusual nature had happened, and I was glad to see it finish. None of us was looking or feeling our proper selves as we sat down to a meal. We were unnerved, and not ashamed to admit it. Discussing the strange happenings, I said: “I do not mind or care what I meet in the substance, and I am not afraid to tackle anybody in a tight push. But when something you cannot feel or see is able to lift a table and three human beings, and carry or throw cushions about the place, it rather puts one at a disadvantage. I had the ‘wind up’ just as badly as I did the first night I spent under shell fire in France.” Our friend stayed a week. On the evening of the day prior to his departure for London, he suggested that we had another sitting. I demurred. I told my friend that I was uncertain of the forces we had contacted, and I did not feel inclined to expose myself needlessly to any physical violence. I still had in mind the physical phenomena we had experienced at the first sitting. I realised that weighty articles could be thrown and I was not anxious to be a target. After a long discussion, I agreed that we should hold another sitting, but I was going prepared for emergency. As we were sitting in the dark, I decided to take a candle and a box of matches, and have them handy in case of the unexpected. We were on tenterhooks when we entered the séance room. We took our places round the small table. The candlestick and matches I placed alongside my left foot. It was left to me to offer the prayer, but I made a
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poor job of it because the uneasy state of my mind made me somewhat incoherent. However, I struggled through it as best I could. We placed our hands on the table and waited. Realising the force we had contacted in the first instance had been able to move physical objects, my mind was centred on the candlestick. To make sure the candlestick remained where I put it, I kept tapping it with my foot. I am sure that had the unseen force removed it, I should not be writing these reminiscences, for I should have finished my investigations there and then. The rappings began soon after we had taken up our positions, both on the table and on different parts of the walls. We had been sitting for about a quarter of an hour when we observed what appeared to be white flecks. Although it was August, I jocularly said, “It looks like snow.” We had no knowledge of ectoplasm in those days. Curious to find out whether what appeared to be blobs of cotton-wool were solid, we tried to get hold of them, but all we grasped was the air. While we were observing and discussing this phenomenon, a metallic sound was heard on the table. I instantly put my hand where I had heard the sound and felt an object. “There is something here,” I exclaimed. “Wait a moment until I light the candle, and then we will see what it is.” I lit the candle. On the table we saw a gold cross with a large piece of honeysuckle fastened through the ring by which it was suspended. Our faces were a study. Looking at my wife, I said, “If this is not the cross which we have hanging over the head of our bed, then it is the nearest replica I have seen.” To satisfy our curiosity I left and went to our bedroom. I was astounded to find there was no sign of the cross. I returned to the séance room and told my wife and friend of my discovery. Here, indeed, was a problem. We were mystified as to what power could carry an article from one part of the house to another, but we were more mystified by the appearance of the honeysuckle. I remembered we had a honeysuckle tree in the garden, but as it was dark I decided to leave my investigations. The following morning I examined the tree and found a newly broken branch. I told my wife and my friend what I had found. I took the piece of honeysuckle which we had found in our room the previous night. When I tried it on the broken branch of the tree it fitted exactly. Our dilemma was not eased by this latest happening. We were lost for an explanation. We had contacted a power - desirable or undesirable,
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we had no means of finding out - that was able to produce phenomena that were beyond human agency. It was impossible for the honeysuckle and cross to be brought into the room through an open door or window as both were fastened. We made a close inspection of the chimney, but failed to find any particles of soot on either of the articles. That matter had passed through matter there was not a shadow of doubt. After the return to London of our friend, my wife and I decided to continue our research into the mysteries of this intriguing subject. Our first attempt, when we two were the only sitters, proved to be interesting. After we had put out the light we were amazed to find the room illuminated by psychic lights. The whole of the frieze surrounding the room was a mass of lights. On the ceiling and walls were huge patches of lights twinkling like stars in the heavens. So illumined was the room by means of these lights that it was possible for us to see each other. Almost immediately we placed our hands on the table, rappings were heard. We suggested the use of a code to the power responsible for the rappings in order that we might get a message and to find out who was the operator. However, we failed to get any message. It was during a period of inactivity of psychic forces, while my wife and myself were engaged in conversation, that another strange happening occurred. We heard a sound as if something had touched the table. As I remarked on this, I felt something being pushed into my hands. It was a framed crucifix. Although we did not actually see the crucifix in transit, it had been taken from the wall in another part of the room from where we were sitting. We did not hear a sound until it actually touched the table. The bringing of the crucifix had the effect of easing my mind respecting the forces we were contacting. I had no desire to dabble with a power which was harmful or undesirable. Having no other means of letting me know, I assumed that the force operating, to put my mind at ease, had brought the cross and the crucifix. This was confirmed at a later period. Nothing of importance happened for the remainder of the sitting which lasted an hour. We continued, twice a week, to hold sittings of one hour’s duration before we got the “voice.”

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Among the many interesting happenings were the following. We had no reason to close the sittings. When we had sat the allotted hour, the table was levitated. When we put on the light, we found the table by the window, with the cloth on it and the bowl of flowers which we always kept in the room. We had flowers brought into the room. Where they came from, we never knew. There were occasions when the flowers that came were not of British cultivation, and could not be bought in this country. Sometimes we had most fragrant perfumes. On one occasion, the perfume was sprayed over us, our hair and faces being saturated. We had a letter from our London friend to say that he was coming to Cardiff on business, and that his wife was accompanying him. As the amount of business needing his attention would take at least a fortnight, we arranged for them to stay with us. Just over two months had elapsed since we had experienced our first phenomena. I had kept my friends posted with the phenomena we had experienced. During the whole of the time we had not received a message on which we could place any reliance. Every attempt to get a message by means of raps was a disjointed affair. However, there was one point of interest. Several times, during each sitting, we got the name Belle spelt out. We were unable to place it. The second night after our friends’ arrival we held a sitting, the first occasion on which the four of us had sat together. Taking our places round the table, the sitting was opened in the usual way by prayer and the singing of hymns. Rappings on the table began almost before we had finished singing, but, try as we could, we were unable to get a tangible message, which annoyed us. Suddenly my friend’s wife exclaimed, “Someone is touching me.” “Who is it?” we asked. The next moment, my wife said, “I am being touched, too.” In turn, my friend and myself were touched as well. It was an uncanny experience at the time. Giving our views of the sensation we experienced, we all agreed that it was just like a warm hand caressing and stroking our heads. While we were discussing this latest phenomenon my friend’s wife said, “My glasses have been taken off.” At the end of the sitting we found the glasses resting on the mantelpiece. My wife then called out that her necklace had been removed from her neck. The necklace was placed on the table. My friend was the next victim. He exclaimed, “Someone is
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fiddling about in my hip-pocket.” Next, all his loose change, which he carried in that pocket, was dropped on the table. Naturally, I wondered what was in store for me. Anyway, I had a brilliant idea. I had a ring on one finger which had got uncomfortably tight. I was unable to remove it, and had decided to have it filed off to save the finger from any injury that might result from continued pressure. I thereupon said, “Well, whoever is doing the removals, you can do me a favour by taking the ring from my finger which I am unable to remove.” I was confident that my request was an impossible one. But I was soon to be disillusioned. I felt what appeared to me to be warm fingers stroking my hand. These then held the finger on which was the ring. In a twinkling of an eye, the ring was taken off and placed on the table. At the next sitting we got our first definite message rapped out. This was, “Please get a trumpet, and we will try to speak.” To make sure that we had got the message right, we asked that it might be repeated. This was done. We bought a trumpet, and looked forward with expectation to the next sitting. We placed the small trumpet on the table. We had plenty of rappings, but our interest was centred on the trumpet and what was going to happen. We had been sitting for about twenty minutes when we saw the trumpet rise above our heads. It circled round, dipping and rising, as an airship might do. This went on for a little while, and then the trumpet gently tapped our heads. It eventually became stationary about three to four feet above our heads, and as near in the centre of the circle as possible. Nothing untoward happened for a little while, but suddenly we heard a hissing noise, not unlike that produced by escaping steam. The hissing continued for some time, then it changed to a gurgling sort of noise. It sounded very like someone gargling his throat. We listened with intense interest, and at long last a very squeaky “voice” was heard coming from the trumpet. We had the greatest difficulty in understanding what was being said. We almost gave it up in despair. Although still squeaky and decidedly incoherent, the “voice” did at last make itself understood. It said, “Hello, hello; will try to speak better another time.” A very short

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message, you may remark, but it made a profound impression on our minds. We were not so much concerned with the message as with the “voice.” Whose “voice” had we heard? Was it the “voice” of a discarnate spirit? How had the “voice” been made possible? These were a few of the many queries we asked ourselves. CHAPTER THREE THE PASTOR WHO RETURNED Three days after our first experience of hearing the “voice” we decided to hold another sitting. The trumpet was placed on the table in case another attempt would be made to speak. After the usual prayer and singing of hymns, we sat in an atmosphere of expectancy. A little time elapsed before we observed the trumpet leave the table and rise above our heads where it remained suspended. We naturally expected a repetition of the previous sitting, but a surprise awaited us. There was no hissing or gurgling sound this time. Without any warning, a terrific “voice” bellowed through the trumpet which scared all of us. It was deafening, and vibrated the whole room. After we had recovered from the shock, the entity announced himself as the Rev. T. H. J. (for private and personal reasons I have to omit the name), adding that he was onetime pastor of a chapel in a well-known Monmouthshire mining town. We were told it was his special mission that night to assure me I was contacting the right spiritual conditions, and there was no reason to worry in this direction any more. He explained that having no other means of communication at previous sittings, the cross and the framed crucifix were brought to us in the hope that symbolically they would give the necessary assurance. He gave one of the most inspiring sermons I have heard. He was a gifted orator. For over twenty minutes he held us spellbound. It was one of the most delightful and uplifting moments of my life. At the close of his sermon, he asked me to verify the information he had given. In the course of my inquiries, would I convey a father’s love and blessing to his two daughters, tell them that he was with them and helping them as much as he did when on earth. I agreed to do this. He then pronounced the blessing and bade us good night.

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I was so impressed with this wonderful experience that I sent a report to a psychic journal. After it was published, I received letters from all parts of the country asking for advice regarding the development of direct voice. As the phenomenon was new to me, I could be of little help. Among the letters I received was one from a friend with whom I had lost touch for about thirteen years. He had apparently forgotten me in the passing of the years, for he addressed me in the formal “Dear Sir.” His letter was in the same strain, “Could I help him with my experience?” The outcome was an invitation to my friend to visit us. It so happened that he was living within ten miles of the town mentioned by the Rev. T. H. J. My business at the time prevented making a special journey to pursue my inquiries. When my friend came, I talked the matter over with him and he volunteered to make the necessary investigation. A fortnight later he wrote that he had found the chapel just as the Rev. T. H. J. described it, and the grave where this clergyman was buried. He had sought out the caretaker of the chapel and learned of the whereabouts of the two daughters. My friend went to the address and met the ladies. He was anxious as to how they would accept the message from the “dead” father, but when he explained the whole circumstances, instead of fainting or being upset, as he thought they might, they told him that they were very glad to receive such a comforting message from their father. They added that they often felt the father’s presence and influence, and would my friend convey their thanks to him when he next had an opportunity of speaking to him. Although at this stage we had many interesting experiences we were far from being confirmed Spiritualists. We were still investigators, endeavouring through long and patient research to satisfy ourselves about the truth of Survival. I would like to mention, too, that we were unaware who was the medium through whom the phenomena were being produced. The manifestation of the Rev. T. H. J. proved one vital point. Our subconscious minds had played no part in the happenings. He was a stranger and absolutely unknown to us. The mining town he mentioned we had never visited, neither did we know that the chapel he had described was in existence.

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From now on it became our joy to hold conversation with those whom we considered dead, but whom we found very much alive, in fact more so than many who are living on earth. As time went on, different entities attached themselves to us. These were known as controls. Controls should not be confused with guides. There is a marked difference between the two in respect of their particular work. There is only one guide, better known to the world as a “guardian angel.” The special duty of the guide is to take charge of the soul of an individual during its earthly experiences. The guide is the heavenly parent of the soul from the time of its association with the body of a child until it leaves that body to enter the higher realms. The controls are, in a sense, specialists. For instance, doctors who have passed to the greater life come back and give medical advice; others, like. nurses, clergymen and philosophers, deal with their own special subjects. The Rev. T. H. J. told us that a little girl, a daughter of a maharajah, would be attached to the circle in the role of doorkeeper and messenger. He said that she was unable to speak English, and with the help of others in the spirit world we would have to teach her. We learned, too, that it was the wish of the little girl when on earth to speak the language of the “Great White Queen”-Queen Victoria - but owing to an early passing, as the result of a snake bite, her ambition was not realised. However, she was told by those in the spirit world that her ambition would be realised one day. And so it came about that we were chosen to help the little one. At first I thought we were tackling a hopeless task. How were we to start? We could not hold conversation in the child’s native tongue, and she did not know our language. I sought advice from the Rev. T. H. J. He informed me that the spoken word would be mentally interpreted by the spirit control to the little girl, and by this procedure she would in time get to understand. It was a tedious business, and required a lot of patience, but it had its compensation because we found the child a very apt pupil. We started with the alphabet, then with small words like cat, dog, top, etc., until we got her to repeat and understand small sentences. Later, we introduced nursery rhymes, which she thoroughly enjoyed when she became proficient. We taught her to sing many of the Sunday School hymns, her favourite being, Now the day is over. It was a sheer delight to hear her
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singing this hymn. In the end, she spoke perfectly apart from a sweet little accent. The spirit name of the child was Belle, known to Spiritualists all over the world who heard her speak on varying occasions. As time went on, relations and friends who had passed into the higher life manifested. It was a source of comfort to us to know that they had survived the grave, and were alive and well. We were happy in this newfound understanding, as everything seemed to be going along so smoothly. But an alarming, not to say unnerving, experience was in store for us. At the suggestion of friends we went to London to spend Christmas with them. We arranged to have a sitting and a room was made ready. From the start we sensed a disturbing condition. We missed the usual harmony and brightness to which we had been accustomed. The atmosphere was heavy and depressing. Owing to our inexperience we could not understand the reason for this depression. We had not been sitting long when one sitter exclaimed that he had a feeling of suffocation as though his heart had stopped beating. Our collie dog, who was in the room, began to snarl and growl. The dog then paced the room as if in search of something, growling and snarling the whole time. Suddenly, a weird laugh was heard, followed by blasphemous utterances. The cursing and foul language were appalling. We were alarmed. We immediately offered a prayer, after which we sang hymns, hoping by doing so to bring about the right conditions and rid ourselves of the undesirable influence that had come into our midst. All the time the prayers were said and the hymns sung, unsavoury epithets were shouted at us. Finally, a terrific crash filled the air. The dog began howling. We decided to close the sitting and get out of the room as soon as we could. At this moment, the Rev. T. H. J., in a loud voice, called on us to offer further prayers and to make the sign of the cross. We did as we were told. After a while a feeling of peace and tranquility came over the room. With this more peaceful condition, the Rev. T. H. J. informed us that an undesirable entity had managed to get in, and because of our ignorance had been able to cause the distressing conditions we had experienced. He warned us to be careful in future of our mental and spiritual attitude. Before pronouncing the blessing, he

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told us that in the event of meeting similar trouble in the future, we should close the sitting immediately with a prayer. When we switched on the lights we found the carpe~ covered with fragments of what was once a figure of the Buddha. The Buddha, previous to the sitting, had occupied a place on a plate shelf which formed a part of the frieze running round the room. We carefully examined every part of the room, walls, furniture, etc., but we found no marks which could have been caused by the Buddha smashing against it. As a matter of fact, the resounding crash was heard above our heads, and the only conclusion at which we could arrive was that the Buddha had been smashed by psychic forces. Three days later we held another sitting, and this time peaceful conditions prevailed. After a general discussion, the Rev. T. H. J. told us that we were to prepare ourselves for a special sitting when four medical men would be attached to the circle for the purpose of healing through me. We respected his wishes and held the sitting a few days later. After the customary prayer and hymn, the Rev. T. H. J. manifested and addressed us at length. Before leaving, he said the medical men would come in turn and introduce themselves. The first to manifest told us that he was Charles Wright, of Leeds, giving his full name and address. He said that he was at one time consultant to the Women and Children’s Hospital in Leeds. He expressed his joy that an opportunity had been afforded him to help the sick and suffering from the spirit world as he tried to do when on earth. In turn the other three spoke. Each gave his name and other particulars such as address, the branch of medicine in which they specialised, and the name of the hospital they visited. Their names were, Scattergood, Jessop and Brown. The last named was a surgeon, and as he said, he was known as “Butcher Brown” to the residents. They had all lived in Leeds and were colleagues. The particulars supplied by these men were recorded and in due course were verified. Some two years later we met a doctor in London. Through conversation on psychic matters, a subject in which he was keenly interested, we had a pleasant surprise. He had known Scattergood, who was one of his lecturers in his student days when training in Leeds. Later, another doctor recalled having met Wright when the former was a young man. Not the least remarkable was the occasion when Wright, in a public hail in London, where over 600 people were gathered to hear the direct
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voice, called out, “Hello, Nurse Groves. How are you, my little pro?” An elderly lady in the gallery responded, and they both held an animated conversation to the delight of those present. Afterwards it was learned that this lady was a nurse, and used to be present at the operations when Wright was the surgeon. He always addressed her as the “little pro.” Several friends and relations spoke to us after the departure of the medical men. CHAPTER FOUR A PSYCHIC “OPERATION” We continued our sittings on our return home, and kept our friends informed of the happenings. A little time elapsed before they paid us a visit. While we were holding a sitting, one of the sitters complained of an acute pain in the heart region. We asked for a spirit doctor to come and give him advice. Wright immediately diagnosed the trouble, told our friend to visit his own doctor when he returned to London, and find out what he had to say. When this man returned to London he consulted his own doctor, who diagnosed the complaint exactly as Wright had done. His doctor told him that he could do nothing to help him, and an operation was out of the question. The only advice he could give was to take a complete rest, not to attempt to drive his car or do anything that would involve the slightest strain to the heart. We consulted Wright to find out if anything could be done. Wright suggested that our friend got three weeks’ leave of absence from business, which he could easily do on the strength of the medical certificate from his own doctor, and to come to Cardiff. If he had faith in the Supreme Power, we were told, the spirit world would put him right. Our friend was able to get the required sick leave, and in due course came with his wife to Cardiff We held a sitting when instructions were given as to the mode of procedure. The date for the psychic operation - as the spirit communicators called it - was fixed, and in order to get extra power we were asked to invite two extra sitters. A treatment bed was fixed up in the séance room, around which was placed a screen. A table, on which we put a red electric light, stood at
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the head of the bed. Those present were the patient, who was submitting to this unique experience, his wife, two men whom we had invited as extra sitters, my wife and myself. My friend lay on the treatment bed and I stood beside him. The others took their seats out-side and away from the screened bed. When everything was ready, a prayer was offered by the Rev. T. H. J., the first to manifest, in which he asked for the help and guiding hand of God to aid the doctors in the work they were about to do. In rapid succession “voice” after “voice” was heard to say, “I am standing by to give help.” Wright then came through, and asked us to give all the help we could through kindly thought and loving sympathy. I was asked if I were ready to carry out the operation in accordance with instructions that would follow. I replied that I was, although I must say I was nervous about it. This was a new experience to me, and I had no idea what I would be asked to do. Immediately the four medical men - their “voices” coming from above the head of the patient - held a consultation. When they had arrived at their conclusions, Wright gave me instructions what to do. I had to make certain passes, also I was told to apply pressure on certain arteries. It is interesting to note that the spirit operators knew when I was giving the requisite pressure, for, on several occasions, Wright called out that the pressure was insufficient, and would I press harder. I thought I was pressing hard enough, and I did not want to hurt my friend by undue pressure, but the patient did not complain. Following the passes and pressures, Wright instructed me to place my thumbs in a certain position, and, on a given signal by him, I was to press hard and at the same time move my left thumb to the left, and my right thumb to the right with a quick movement. I did as I was instructed, and a distinct click was heard from the heart region. Simultaneously my friend groaned as if in pain. Wright told us that everything was all right and that we need not get alarmed. He gave instructions for the left arm to be strapped across the patient’s body to relieve any strain that its weight might bring on the left side, and for the two men to assist me in putting my friend to bed with as little discomfort as possible. He was told that be would have to remain in bed for a week at least. From his subsequent condition, he had no desire to leave his bed. I gave the patient a light massage daily, and at
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the end of a fortnight he was convalescent. A week later he was well enough to return to London. It was not very long before he began to feel like his old self, and now, several years later, he has not been again troubled with his heart. I would like to say that up to this stage we were unaware who the medium was, and it had never dawned on us to ask. At a later sitting, I thought one of our party had gone to sleep because of the heavy breathing that I heard. “Who’s gone to sleep?” I asked. Before anyone could reply, the Rev. T. H. J. interposed. “It is quite all right,” he said. What is happening?” I asked. “We are putting Mrs. Perriman to sleep,” was the answer. Why?” I queried. I was told that a new control was coming, and the only way possible for this entity to manifest was through a trance condition of the medium. After further questioning, the Rev. T. H. J. informed us that Mrs. Perriman was the medium for the direct voice. ‘While in the trance state, an entity controlled my wife. Speaking in a decided Scots dialect, the communicator gave her name as Flora Macdonald. When asked if she was “Prince Charlie’s Flora Macdonald,” she replied, “No, but a descendant of that line.” She told us that she was a nursing sister when on earth, and was killed in the first Boxer Rising, in China, while on duty. She added that she had been appointed one of the chief controls of the circle, and would, in future, be a frequent visitor. Before bidding us good night, she said that she hoped to be able to speak in the direct voice with a little practice. We pulled Mrs. Perriman’s leg when she woke up. She would not believe that she had been controlled by a spirit entity when we told her what had happened. All that she remembered, she said, was feeling drowsy and unable to keep her eyes open. We had the greatest difficulty in convincing her that she had been in a trance. When at last we did assure her that we were not fooling, she expressed alarm and concern, and hoped that unseen powers would not use her again in this way without first asking her permission.

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CHAPTER FIVE THE FIRST MATERIALISATIONS One of the most remarkable sittings we held in Cardiff’ took place some three months after the psychic “operation” when our friends came to stay with us for their holidays. Flora Macdonald told us that they were going to try an experiment, and in order to bring about the desired conditions, requested us to spend outdoors the day on which the sitting would be held that evening. We were to eat sparingly and to avoid meat of any kind. At Belle’s request gramophone music was played. We saw a cameo head and shoulders of a control, known to us as Matron, in nurse’s attire, build up. She went to each sitter and held a conversation. Although the cameo manifestation was no larger than four inches, all the features could be discerned. After bidding us good night, the materialisation faded. We were commenting on the last manifestation when I felt a pressure on my left knee. Looking down, I saw that Belle had partly materialised. We had a long talk, she gazing at me, and I looking down at her. Belle went to each sitter in turn, sat on their knees, and held a conversation as she had done with me. Following Belle, twenty-two entities communicated, among them being my wife’s four brothers who were killed in World War I, my mother, my brother-in-law, my two regimental pals, Sergts. Walwyn and Cross who were killed on the same day as I was wounded at Mametz Wood, July, 1916, Flora Macdonald and W. T. Stead. Thinking we had reached the close of the sitting, we were surprised to hear Belle say, “I wonder what I can do now before wishing you good night.” After a momentary pause, as if in meditation, she said, “I know, I am going downstairs.” The séance room was upstairs. Almost as quick as thought, Belle was downstairs and back to the séance room, as we learned when she said to me, “Take this.” I held my hands out in front of me, and in them Belle put a telephone cover, which was a model of a woman dressed in red velvet, eighteen inches high. The cover was kept in the front sitting-room downstairs. Belle again said she was going downstairs. Jocularly we asked her not to clear the room of its furnishings. Returning in a twinkling of an eye, she again asked me to hold out my hands. This time she placed four ash
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trays, one after the other, counting them as she did so, and finally handed me the stand-holder for the trays. These articles also had been brought from the sitting-room downstairs. One visitor asked Belle if she was going to bring him something. “Just a minute,” she replied. “Let me think. I know,” she added, and away she went. Almost immediately, she asked our friend to hold out his hands. In them she placed his shaving brush, soap and safety razor. These she had brought from the bathroom. Turning to his wife, Belle said she would try to bring her something. Again, in less time than one can say it, Belle had been to the bedroom, collected her hair brush and comb, and handed them to her. My wife asked Belle if she was going to be favoured as well. “Yes,” replied Belle, “but wait a minute.” We waited a moment, then we heard Belle say, “Here you are.” Belle handed to my wife her powder puff and bowl which had been taken off a dressing-table in another bedroom. That was the end. After the Rev. T. H. J. had pronounced the blessing, we closed the sitting with prayer and thanksgiving for being honoured in witnessing these remarkable phenomena. The clock chimed midnight as we left the séance room. We had spent four of the most wonderful hours of our lives. During one of our frequent visits to London to stay with our friends, we had an amusing experience. It was arranged one day that we should meet the husband at his office in Victoria Street, S.W.1, about 5.30 p.m. It was getting dark when we arrived at the office, in the basement of a large building. We sat in his private office while he went through the letters before handing them to the typist to post. After the typist left, we went into the general office to have a chat on the day’s events before going out to tea. We did not bother to switch on the lights because the many lights from adjoining offices shining across the area gave all the illumination we required for the short time we intended to stay. We had only just started talking, when Belle interrupted our conversation with, “This is a funny place to bring me; it’s like a cellar.” “You were not asked to come,” I replied. “In any case, you were the last person we expected.” She then told us she was going to have a look round. Espying something she found of interest, she asked if I could tell
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her what were the little things on the shelf. I said that I did not know, but if she would pass one down to me, I might be able to tell her. “Here, catch,” called Belle. I cupped my hands to catch what she had thrown, but I missed it. The object fell with a thud on the floor. Groping around, we found it was a small weight, as used on balance scales. Our friend said that a number of the weights were stored on the top shelf. Belle then said, “What are these boxes?” I replied, “I don’t know.” “Catch this one,” she said. I missed again, and the box fell on the floor. The impact knocked off the cover, and tile contents, envelopes, were scattered over the floor. While we were picking them up, she said, “Good night, Mr. Man.” Asked to whom she was referring, Belle replied: “Oh, the man with the bald head in the next room. He’s putting his hat on ready to go home.” Immediately afterwards, we heard the door of the adjoining office shut. Our friend confirmed that the man in the next office was bald. Belle told us that there was a bowl of water that should have been emptied, as it was not very clean. Just where we were sitting, a corner had been curtained off where the typist kept cups and saucers, wash bowl, etc., and made morning and afternoon tea. Belle said that as she did not like the bowl of water where it was she would move it. Imagine our astonishment when we saw the bowl, three parts full of water, floating in space some two feet above the floor. As it floated from the curtain to come to rest by our feet, we looked at each other with astonishment. Before we had completely recovered, Belle said: “There, that’s that. Now we will go and have some tea at Dicken’s Cafe.” She asked us to stop in front of the mirrors as we went into the cafe. “We would look funny,” she said, “and she would have a laugh.” At that time, there were a number of distorting mirrors that you had to pass when going downstairs to the cafe. On entering, we chose a table under one of the relieving arches, a tunnel-like affair. The waitress came and took our order. While we were waiting to be served, loud raps were heard underneath the table. The table itself then began to rock, causing the crockery to clatter. We were feeling embarrassed, but when the table began to rise from the floor, we got scared. What if the other occupants observed what was going on? We hoped that the waitress would not arrive with the food, and see the table suspended in space. Fortunately, the table descended, and
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everything was normal by the time the waitress arrived with the order. We breathed a sigh of relief. CHAPTER SIX OUR TWO INTRUDERS It was after midnight when we closed one sitting. I hurried downstairs to prepare a little meal before retiring. I had just put the kettle on when the front door bell rang. Wondering who was calling at this time of night, I was surprised to find it was a policeman. “Is anyone ill, here?” he inquired. “No, why?” I replied. “Well, as I was cycling along, I noticed a man come out of the gate and dash up the road. Seeing the door open, I rang the bell, thinking that if anyone was ill I might be of assistance.” I explained that nobody was ill, and I could not account for the man. “In that case, it may be that he was attempting to break in. I will slip along on my cycle and try to overtake him. Will you wait until I return?” About ten minutes later he returned, told me that he had failed to trace the man and suggested an inspection of the house be made to find out whether the man had been inside and helped himself. With the aid of electric torches, we searched among the trees and bushes in the forecourt. Under one big bush the officer found fifty gramophone records. These had been taken from the ballroom, where we found dirty boot marks, obviously those of the intruder. Each room in turn was thoroughly examined by the policeman. In the dining-room we found the sideboard had been cleared of the silver. An evening wrap and coat had also been taken from my wife’s wardrobe. We could not very well tell him we had been holding a séance when he asked if we had heard any noise, which we had not. After his departure, we asked ourselves why one of the spirit communicators had not told us that an unwelcome visitor was in the house during our sitting. I suggested that after our meal we ask the spirit friends the reason for their oversight. When Belle came through, I asked if she knew anything about the happening. She told me that they knew a man was there. He was poor, his wife was seriously ill, and his children had no food. Belle said he was not a bad man, and what he had done was for his wife and children.

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“How do you know all this?” I inquired. “We have been to his home,” she replied. “In that case, you are able to tell me where the man lives.” “Yes, but I will not be allowed to do so unless you promise you won’t hurt him.” Despite our loss, I had no wish to make the lot of this poor fellow and his family worse, so I told Belle that as far as I was concerned nothing more would be done in the matter, but I hoped we would have no further nocturnal visitors. Belle then gave a detailed description of the man and his home. Out of curiosity, I made a few inquiries, which confirmed Belle’s statements. We were fated, however, to have another unwelcome Visitor. We were holding a sitting when Belle said we would have to stop. Asked the reason, she told us there was a man trying to get into the house, adding that he was in the conservatory. “Quick, but do be careful,” said Belle. I immediately rushed downstairs while a friend hurried to a room overlooking the garden. As I got into the ballroom I heard a shout from my friend. He had spotted the intruder making a getaway across the garden. Without hesitation, he flung up the window and made a flying leap to the garden below. It was a wonder he did not break his neck. Anyway, he was shaken up, and by the time he recovered, the fugitive had cleared the wall. I immediately telephoned the police, who arrived quickly. Despite their search, in which we all joined, no trace of the intruder was found. On this occasion we suffered no loss, but the police found a packet of pepper in the conservatory, dropped, no doubt, by the intruder in his haste to get away. Obviously this fellow was a tough customer, and it was for this reason Belle had warned us to be careful. A woman, whose acquaintance we had made during a visit to London, invited my wife and myself to spend a short holiday with her at her temporary home in Rye. The house was one of the old type for which Rye is noted. It was in Watch Bell Street, opposite to the modern but charming Roman Catholic Church. Our hostess had only one maid, a cook general, who was a Roman Catholic. One evening, when we had taken our seats for dinner, we thought we heard a rap coming from underneath the table. We did not take much notice of it, but when a succession of loud thumps occurred, we sat up

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and took notice. As we did, we noticed the table give a slight sway, which almost spilled the soup in our plates. “What’s happening here?” I asked. “I am not going to risk the soup emptying itself on me.” I suggested that we remove ourselves from the table. After we had done so, we watched the table, with its load, rise with a swaying movement from the floor. It remained suspended about a foot from the floor. Suddenly, it shot across the other side of the room. That all the crockery, silver, etc., were not swept off seemed a miracle. Even the soup was intact. We looked at the table, now stationary, and wondered what the next move would be. Anxious to proceed with our dinner before it got cold, I suggested that it would be as well for those in control to bring back the table and allow us to proceed. The next moment it rose from the floor and floated - there is no other word for it - across the room, and came to rest in its original position. We then ate our dinner without further interruption. It was a very old refectory table, so heavy that I could not lift it. It must have weighed well over a hundredweight. After dinner, we retired upstairs for coffee, when we thought we might ask our spirit friends about the happenings in the dining-room. Belle came and appeared to be highly amused. She told us that some of the boys had got together to see what they could do, and they were quite happy with the results. Belle broke off the conversation. “I am going to try to do something,” she said. “What?” I asked. “I am not going to tell,” she replied. “I can’t do it yet, but I am going to wait until I can.” Belle refused to be drawn. Full of expectation, we waited in silence. Suddenly, she said, “It’s all right now; I can do it.” In a trice, she called our hostess and myself to hold out our hands. We did so. “Good heavens,” I cried. “What is it?” “Something I got downstairs,” answered Belle. “But it is hot,” I said. Our hostess said the article she had been given was also hot. Putting my hand over the article I had been given, I found it was a dessert spoon. I mentioned this fact and our hostess said, “I have also been given one.” I asked Belle how she had managed to get them. She told us that she was watching the maid washing up downstairs and, as soon as she had

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turned her back, got hold of the two spoons and brought them to us. Our hostess said she would make a few inquiries. Leaving the room, she called for the maid, and asked if all the silver was safe. “I think so,” answered the maid. “To make sure, will you kindly check it?” said our hostess. After a few minutes the maid returned, and told her mistress that there were two dessert spoons short. She could not account for them because all the silver was together when she started washing up. “Here are the two missing spoons,” said our hostess, handing them to the surprised and embarrassed maid. “But I didn’t bring them upstairs,” said the servant. “Surely you don’t think it can be ghosts?” The maid was not enlightened on the matter, but there was a sequel. She sprinkled holy water about the house, and first thing the following morning sought the priest over the way. As a contrast to these happenings, during one of our frequent visits to London we had a mixed but an interesting sitting. With our friends, we had been invited by a woman to hold a séance in her flat near Covent Garden Market. On arrival, we found that she had invited two friends, so our number totalled seven. Belle opened the proceeding in her usual inimitable way. She was followed by several controls. Then she returned and asked if we would help someone to get through. There was a lull; then came a voice making a desperate effort to be understood. We had almost given it up as hopeless when, with a final effort, the communicator cried, “It’s Jimmy! It’s Jimmy!” “Jimmy who?” we asked. “It’s Jimmy! It’s Jimmy! Can’t you hear me?” We said that we could hear him, but it would help if he could give his full name. “I’m Jimmy White,” came the reply. “Tell my wife I didn’t mean to do it. Please tell her how sorry I am that she has been left like she has. Do tell her how sorry I am, and that I send her my love. I am glad I have been able to make myself understood, and I thank you all for helping me to get through. Don’t forget to tell my wife. Good night, and God bless my wife.” It was a touching experience. Jimmy White, the financier, had passed under tragic circumstances, but from the appeal he made to us, there is no doubt that he was not lacking generosity and a thought for others. I

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understand the message was conveyed to his wife through the woman in whose flat we held the sitting. After Jimmy White’s departure, we were entertained with some singing. A voice, feminine and husky, began to sing, “I’m one of the ruisis that Cromwell knocked about a bit.” We listened while she sang the whole song. It was the one and only Marie Lloyd. She was just like her real self, and she had us roaring with laughter with her humour and wit. Apart from the fact that we did not see her, we might easily have been sitting in a music hail listening to the real Marie Lloyd, so natural was her performance. She spoke lovingly of her daughters, and wished them well. Before leaving, she treated us to another song about the “old cock linnet.” We had hardly recovered from the hectic time that Marie Lloyd had given us, when a weak voice, with a cough, was heard singing, “I was standing at the corner of the street.” After singing the whole song, the communicator said: “Good evening. It’s George, you know, George Formby. Not coughing so bad tonight, am I? I just saw Marie Lloyd, and I thought I would have a try.” We told him that he had succeeded very well, and we were glad to have him. “Not bothered with my chest now, you know,” he said, “but I should like to sing you another song, that is, if you don’t mind.” It went something like this: “I’m very fond of sea life, and my wife, by the way, she said to me, ‘John. Willie, you shall have a holiday’.” During the song he broke off and gave a little patter. “There you go again,” he said. “I wish those stage carpenters wouldn’t leave nails sticking up on the stage.” Then followed a talk between George and an imaginary conductor of the orchestra. It was amazing. We almost forgot that we were listening to one who had passed through the valley of the shadows. George Formby told us how happy he was in his new condition of life, and that he hoped his son would maintain the traditions he had founded. After this sitting, when we were returning to Cardiff by car, we witnessed an unusual phenomenon. We had pulled up for a picnic lunch, a mile or so beyond Witney. At the spot, a wide grass verge ran parallel to the road for some distance. After completing our lunch, my friend and myself cleared up while the women went for a quiet stroll along the grass verge. They had not gone a
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minute or two when we heard them calling us. Looking up, we saw them frantically waving their hands and beckoning us. We hurried to where they were, wondering what had happened to cause the excitement. On our arrival, we saw thousands of beautiful butterflies of a species we had not seen before nor since. They were no larger than the size of a shilling. The top part of the wing was deep turquoise blue, with gold veins running through, and the underside was an egg-shell blue with silver veins. We were able to handle the butterflies, and they appeared to be dazed. We were impressed by the fact that they made no attempt to fly away. It was as if they were in a magic circle, from which they could make no escape. They fluttered languidly in a space of about nine feet square. Despite our efforts to drive them away, they took no notice. We stood for nearly fifteen minutes watching them, when suddenly they vanished. We told our spirit friends at the next sitting about the happening, and were informed that they had been responsible for the phenomena. They explained that the butterflies had been brought by them from another country. CHAPTER SEVEN THE CALL TO SERVICE My wife and I continued to hold our sittings every Wednesday and Sunday evening, and as one ended we looked forward to the next. Soon we were to learn of something which was to change the whole course of our lives. Flora Macdonald was addressing us one evening. “There is work for you to do,” she said. “Aren’t we working now?” I asked. “Of course you are,” she replied, “but it is a different sort of work that I have in mind.” “Please explain,” I urged. “Well,” she went on, “I want you both to understand that this God-given gift of the direct voice is intended for the many to enjoy and not for you alone.” “What do you suggest we do?” was my next question. She said it was the wish of those on the Other Side for us to go to London, where we should devote our lives to the service of others by using this gift to comfort mourners.
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“That’s all right, Flora Macdonald,” I said, “but so far as I am concerned I have no wish to give up my business, and no particular desire to leave here for London. We are going along quite nicely, and I do not see any sense in throwing up everything here for an uncertainty in London.” For the next half an hour or so, Flora Macdonald and I argued for and against the project. My principal objection was - and I thought a sound one - commercialising the gift. Her reply was that the labourer was worthy of his hire. Nobody objected to a clergyman being paid for his work. What was the objection to us being paid for a similar work? In any case, we could always invite to the sittings one or two people who were unable to pay, and in this way be doing two good turns. Still, I demurred. However, I promised to think it over. My wife and I had a long talk about it, but neither was willing to make the suggested drastic change. Flora Macdonald and I resumed our arguments at the next sitting. I eventually promised to inquire about a suitable house, enlist the help of our friends in North Harrow, and see what could be done. A bombshell dropped. Owing to a sudden business slump, and an adverse change of circumstances, our future, which, two weeks earlier, looked rosy, now seemed very black. We were temporarily stunned by this blow. Any hopes of getting to London vanished, as we thought, through financial straits. Flora Macdonald, however, assured us that everything would be all right, and we had nothing to fear. Getting a place in London suitable to our requirements was not easy. Disappointment after disappointment came our way. What appeared to be the last straw was spraining my ankle as I was hurrying from an estate agent’s office on my way to view a house. I was a sorry sight when I arrived home in the early hours of the morning from London. My ankle was twice its normal size and very painful. I limped upstairs, in not the best of moods. I told my wife that, after the previous day’s affairs, I did not want to see London again. As for house hunting, I had finished. The same evening we held a sitting. I wanted an opportunity of telling Flora Macdonald that I had washed my hands of the London project. She listened without interruption to my long tale of woe. When I had finished, she said:

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“Well, Sergeant Perriman, it doesn’t matter what you say. I tell you now that you will go to London, and much sooner than you expect.” “All right, we’ll see,” I replied “Yes, we will see,” was her rejoinder. The following morning I received a letter from a friend in London informing me that he knew of suitable premises, and if I let him know my intentions by return of post he would see the landlord. I did not know what to do. My wife suggested that I consulted Flora Macdonald. If I consulted her, I told my wife, I thought I knew what she would say, and it would not be the advice I wanted. However, we agreed to have a sitting to discuss the position, and to hear what Flora Macdonald had to say. As I anticipated, she told me to write my friend at once to say that I would see the landlord in the course of a few days. The few days would allow my ankle to get stronger, as she did not want to see “poor Sergeant Perriman limping to London.” I thought there was a suggestion of Scottish irony about my limping, and I am afraid a battle of words followed on the respective qualities of the Scots and English. Flora Macdonald had the last word. I, poor man, gave in, and promised to go to London. Despite the fact that we had not the means to meet the cost of a removal from Cardiff to London, I wrote to several removal contractors for estimates. In the meantime, I asked Flora Macdonald about the wherewithal to pay. She told me that I need not worry, as everything would turn out all right. In due course I received the estimates, and found them far in excess of what I had anticipated. As Flora Macdonald had been prime mover in this uncertain state of affairs, I thought it would be as well to discuss these with her. “Of course they are too much,” she said. “Och, you would not get a Scotswoman paying all that money.” “Probably not,” I replied, “but unless you can do the removal for us, I don’t see how we can get it done any cheaper.” “You will get it done much cheaper,” she said, “and in a way you least expect. Just wait and see.” The following evening, as my wife and I were returning home, I noticed a furniture van and trailer, with a London firm’s name, on a spare piece of ground. There was nobody in charge. As there was a small inn close
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by, I thought the driver might be having a little refreshment. He was there. I learned that he had a load of furniture which was being delivered not far away in the morning. He said that he would be returning to London empty unless he had instructions from his firm to the contrary. I told the driver that I was moving to London, but I was not sure whether the house I was taking would be ready, as I was not due for a fortnight. I suggested he came round to see me the following morning when he could give me an estimate. He agreed to do so. On arriving home we had a sitting. “Well,” said Flora Macdonald, “didn’t I tell you that you would hear of something in an unexpected way, and that you would get your removal done much cheaper?” “We have not received an estimate from this man yet,” I replied, “so I do not know whether it is going to be cheaper or not.” “Listen to me,” she said. “When that man comes tomorrow, tell him the inconvenience to which you will be put by a hurried removal, and unless his estimate is a moderate one, you would prefer to wait. Better still, tell the man what you are prepared to pay.” “What about suggesting a figure?” I asked. “That I will,” she replied, mentioning a figure I thought ridiculous. “There is no doubt about your being a Scot,” I told her. “Why, if I told the man I was only prepared to pay what you suggest, he would either collapse or think I was mad.” “Don’t you worry about that,” Flora went on. “You can take it from me that you will get the job done at the figure I suggest. And now, get on with it.” “Before you go, Flora, what about the wherewithal?” I asked. “That will come,” she replied, abruptly. “Good night!” When the man came the next day, I told him what I was prepared to pay for the removal. His face was a study. He said, “We are~ not doing this for the benefit of our health.” “Of course not,” I replied, “but it is better than going back empty.” I suggested he put a trunk call through to his firm to get their opinion. He agreed, but said, “I am afraid they won’t consider your offer.” Anyway, when he returned from the call box, he told me, much to his surprise, that the firm had accepted my offer without question, and that they were forwarding a contract form right away. He arranged to come with
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his mate in the evening to pack the china and glass ready for loading the following morning. In the meantime I sent a wire to the landlord asking if it were possible for me to move in immediately. I got a reply that it was all right. Everything was now in order except the wherewithal. As the men were loading up, the postman delivered a letter containing a cheque which more than covered the cost of moving. Luck was with us during the removal. The van had not gone more than half an hour when we had torrential rain. So heavy was the downpour that miles of land and roads were flooded. When I met the men in London the following evening, they told me of their experiences. They had just managed to reach Gloucester when they heard the main road by which they had come was flooded, making it impassable for traffic. Still, here was our furniture safe and sound, and we ready for the great adventure. As I write, we are in the seventh year of this adventure. Since the advent of the voice phenomena, we have held some two thousand five hundred sittings, and have listened to over ten thousand spirit entities discourse. From these figures it will be realised how impossible it is to record in this book everything that has happened. For this reason, I am confining myself to some of the most interesting sittings. The first where unusual phenomena took place happened about three months after our arrival in London. Resulting from a public talk I had given, we made the acquaintance of a Scottish family visiting London from Southern Rhodesia. We invited them to a sitting, and learned from Flora Macdonald that the daughter had potential voice mediumship. Flora said she would need developing, and asked us to sit for development with the young woman and her parents. We offered them the use of our séance room on Sunday afternoons. At one of these sittings we had a surprise and a little shock. The husband sat next to my wife, on her left, his daughter next to him, and then her mother. I was by the piano in case music was required. We had been sitting for a while talking when the husband, in great alarm, called out to me, “Your wife is not here!” “What do you mean, not here?” I asked. “She’s gone!” he exclaimed. I called to my wife, but got no answer.
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“Are you sure she is not in her chair?” I inquired of the husband. “Absolutely,” he replied. “She was here a moment ago, but now her chair is empty.” I again called my wife, but still there was no answer. I knew she could not get out of the room because the doors were locked and I held the keys. For the third time I called, but there was no response. “I have had enough of this,” I said, “I am going to find out what has happened to her. I am going to switch on the lights.” As I spoke, Flora Macdonald called out, “Leave the lights alone, Sergeant Perriman. We have got her, and she is quite safe.” “You have got her?” I queried; “what do you mean?” “We have taken her for a little ride,” she answered. “Calm yourself.” At this moment we heard my wife calling us. Her voice seemed a long way off, coming, as it were, from the housetop. “You do look funny down there,” she said. “Never mind about our looking funny,” I replied. “What I want to know is, where are you?” “I am up here,” she said. “Up where?” I asked in disgust. Feeling annoyed, I requested Flora Macdonald to explain what had happened. “If you want to know,” said Flora, “we have levitated your wife. We found the power here this afternoon suitable for this kind of phenomena, and we experimented.” “Very nice, too,” was my rejoinder. “But supposing something had happened to cause her a severe injury, what then?” “Unless the conditions had been ideal, and we knew no harm would come to your wife, we should not have attempted to do what we have,” she replied. I asked Flora how high my wife had been levitated, and she told me that she had been taken above the roof. Next came the descent of my wife. We heard Flora instructing other entities, giving us the impression that my wife was being borne down by them. All the time, Mrs. Perriman was remarking on the funny sensation, “sitting on a cloud,” she aptly expressed it. When nearing her chair, Flora gave instructions to let my wife go. We heard her flop in her chair. As she did so, we breathed a sigh of relief. After the sitting was over, we questioned my wife on her experience. She told us that she felt as if she was being elongated and covered with cotton wool. She had no sensation of rising, but suddenly found herself
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looking down from a great height through a long tube. The dark séance room was quite light to her, and that was the reason why she was able to see us. When she was being lowered, it was like coming down a lift that had no sides to it. She felt that she was without shape, and as light as a feather. When she dropped into her chair, she had the sensation of being remoulded into her natural shape, and this was accompanied by a prickly feeling. For a little while, the sensory nervous system did not function in the normal way. Asked whether she liked the trip, my wife said that, had she known what the spirit people had intended doing, she would have been afraid to trust herself. We agreed that it would need a great deal of courage to submit to such an ordeal, and doubted whether we would have risked it. As I put it, “There are less alarming ways of losing one’s wife than by levitation.” At a subsequent sitting, my wife was again levitated, but this time she did not mind. On another occasion, a young man was told by Flora that he possessed unusual physical mediumship. If we all agreed, the spirit people would test his powers at a sitting to be arranged, providing he did not mind. He was quite willing, so were we, and the sitting was held. There were just the three of us. Instructing us to place our hands on our solar plexus, to conserve the power, Flora told us that they were ready. Our attention was first attracted to a large light which appeared above our heads. After remaining stationary for a while, it began to circle the room. Vases of flowers, which were on our little altar, were brought to us. My large cabinet gramophone, on which I was resting my arms, shot away, causing me to overbalance and come to grief on the floor. I complained and said they might have told me what was happening. “Here you are,” said Flora Mac, “there’s your gramophone.” The next moment it was pushed towards me. We then saw a light near my wife, and heard her say, “I’m going up.” The light was strong enough for us to see her outline. We saw her suspended about five feet from the floor. I asked how she felt. “Fine,” she replied, “but I hope they don’t drop me.” “We won’t do that,” said Flora. Next we saw my wife floating round the room, and rise to the ceiling, where she came to a halt. The light appeared to be attached to her. She was very amused, and so were we. After a while she began to descend, and around the room she floated again.
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As she passed close to me, I wished her “bon voyage.” Eventually she came gently to rest in her chair. I thought this would be a cheap and comfortable way of travelling, but I got no encouragement from Flora. “Walk, it will do you good,” she said. CHAPTER EIGHT A CHRISTMAS TREE SÉANCE Two occasions to which we looked forward each year were the spirit children’s Christmas tree sitting and the Remembrance service sitting. The idea for holding them came from the spirit world. Owing to my wife’s serious illness, which was followed by three accidents, including a motor smash, and my own illness, we experienced a pretty tough time the first year we were in London. At the beginning of December, things were about as bad as they could be, the only bright spot was our improved condition in health. It was at this time, when we were sitting by ourselves, that the first suggestion of having a Christmas tree for the spirit children was mentioned. Belle, after greeting us, full of excitement, said, “We are going to have a Christmas tree for the children.” “Whose children?” I asked. “Why, the spirit children,” she said. “You have to get a Christmas tree, collect pennies for toys, and when the spirit children have played with them, you will take the toys to the poor little children who are on your sphere. You will have a letter from a man who talks about Jesus, asking you to help him to provide something for the poor little children he is looking after.” “Just a moment, Belle,” I interrupted, “this sounds all very nice, but how can you expect us who have no ‘pennies,’ and very little hope of getting any, buying a Christmas tree and gathering toys? Surely, if there are two ‘poor children’ needing help, it is the medium and I. Much as we would like to carry out your suggestion, we cannot do the impossible.” But Belle would not be put off I told her that we would have to wait and see. “Wait and see,” exclaimed Flora, who at that moment came through. “You will do as the little one has suggested and get a Christmas tree and toys.” “But . . .” “There are to be no buts or ifs,” said Flora before I could complete my sentence. “Have it your own way,” I replied, “but still, I
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don’t see how it is going to be done,” I added. “You’ll see,” was her rejoinder. We spoke to several people about the idea, and they agreed to help us. As the result, we had a nice tree, some fifty toys, and thirty-five shillings in cash. Incidentally I got a letter from a clergyman of one of the poorest London parishes appealing for help. In response, we took the toys and the money to him on Christmas Eve, and he invited us to stay to the children’s party that was being held. The Christmas tree sittings have to be experienced to be realised. What joy it is to hear the little ones from the other side of life exclaim in wonderment when they see the huge tree laden with toys of every description. Here is one account as described in Psychic News by Hannen Swaffer: The most remarkable séance held in London for weeks past was probably the party given for spirit children by Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Perriman. It began with a Christmas tree. It ended with a bit of “psychic research.” Belle had invited nearly forty people to attend a direct voice séance at which there was a big tree, covered with toys. They had been sent - over three hundred of them - from all over the country, many of them for spirit children whose names were given. Others came from former sitters of Mrs. Perriman’s, or people who had been helped. A huge doll was sent to Belle by someone overseas. It is hard for non-Spiritualists to understand, but these toys, sent after the party to poor children living in London slums, have astral counterparts which are taken back to the Other World by the “dead” children to whom they are first given. “You know all these pretty toys you have got,” said Elsie Carter, one of the spirit children whose voices we heard. “We take back with us the impression of them, and then each, has one like the one chosen here. So you are answering two~ purposes—one for us in spirit life, and one for the poor children who have not got any.” It was not very grammatically phrased, but it explained the child’s meaning. “Do you realise you have taken part in a great occasion?” later said the Rev. Waiter Coulthard, who often speaks at the Perriman circles,
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explaining it in his own words. “There have been children from the other side of life here, amidst surroundings of joy. They have come to you in their innocence and love, bringing with them peace and understanding, taking away with them photographs on their memories. They will have replicas of these toys for their joy in the Other World. As the little messenger told you, they take back a thought-form of the toy. “Remember, every toy has been claimed by spirit children who have been present. Every toy has been claimed by some child, both in this room and in the other” - there were many toys that there was not room for them all round the Christmas tree. The others were put in another room. “Every toy has now a spirit owner. You are giving joy to the other side of life, and you are giving joy on earth.” For over two hours, we sat listening to the voices of more than fifty spirit children, who all inspected the tree, chose their various toys - yes, and played with them. Indeed, when the séance was over, the great mass of toys grouped round the tree was scattered in violent disarray. Sometimes we heard a toy trumpet blown, for instance. “I am blowing two at once,” said one of the child voices. We heard little ones arguing about which fairy doll they could have. Boy after boy said, “I want a motor car.” One remarkable feature of the séance was the great difference in the spirit voices. There were some who spoke with a broad Scots accent. There were Lancashire voices, Cockney tones, all sorts. When I heard one voice, that of little David Evans, I said: “I remember you. You came last year.” Remembering me, David carried on quite a long conversation. He came from the valleys, he said, and when I said I had recently been down to South Wales he corrected my pronunciation of Bargoed and two or three other towns which I could neither spell nor pronounce. When I said my Bardic name was Llais y Werin, he repeated the Welsh words, which tripped off his tongue. He said, “Good night” in Welsh and mentioned quite a lot of townlets he remembered. Jim Somebody also came last year. I remembered his voice after twelve months. “I have found a book,” he said. “Only girls have dolls.”

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Two children each tried to get two toys, but Belle stopped them on each occasion. Now and then, she would tell a boy to “stand over there,” and indeed behaved as though she were the Master of Ceremonies. “Can I come to your circle when you start again?” said Belle to me, after we had heard the voice of Joan, one of the frequent child communicators at my own home circle. “Joan told me she would bring me, but I wanted to see what you would say.” Mrs. Leonard’s Feda turned up, Mrs. Duncan’s Peggy, and also Jimmy Sparrow, from Lady Caillard’s home circle. Tom-Gallon, the author, whom I first heard speak through Evan Powell at the British College of Psychic Science ten years ago, spoke to his sister, Nellie Tom-Gallon. Dennis Bradley came along, right at the end, and said: “Although I have not been over here very long, I have made; myself known to many. Give my love to my wife and Pat and Anthony. God keep you all, and do not ever let go. Remember, God is love. That is why I am here. . . . My greetings to the Pen Club.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, too, spoke, and gave me a special message. “There are many of my old friends who have come to the spirit world lately, many rejoicing,” he said. “Some have got to extend in some ways. When I tried to tell them about survival, years ago, they would not listen. My love to my wife, Jean, to my daughters and to my boys. Tell Denis to carry on and keep the flag flying.” Several children were recognised by sitters. Several were addressed by their pet names. We heard the voices of: Johnnie Harrison, Willie Atkinson, Lucy Baker, Ruby Wadsworth, Walter Thorpe, Ronnie Ecclesworth, Bertha Thompson, Josephine Becker, Sammy Anderson, Jimmy Schofield, Charlie Summerfield, Eric Patterson, Arthur Marsden, Ronald Jackson, Bertha Coates, Peter Holds-worth, Phyllis Parker, Willie Jones, Johnnie Maclean, Bobby WagstaIf, Alex Sayers, Victor Harrold and many more. The chief lesson to be drawn from it is the lesson to the bereaved parents. Your “dead” children are not dead. They are as human and as humorous as they were on earth. “The big doll is Belle’s,” said Queenie, a spirit child who did not give her surname, “so I am going to have one of these big bunny rabbits.” “Big Bunny,” she added, to the toy. “I am going to call you Teddy.”
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Then she started to talk to us again. “It is such a nice cuddly sort of toy,” she said. “I am going to have one just like him at home in my garden.” “You will go to some other little girl,” she went on, to the toy this time, “but don’t forget Queenie.” Then she spoke to us again. “Isn’t he nice?” she said. “He has a white face and his coat is very dark. Don’t you think he is nice, too? I am taking him over your heads now.” We heard something fall. Then Queenie said: “I dropped it. Will you pick it up, someone? I could not carry it any further. Give it to that lady.” She indicated a woman in front of me. “It is a beauty.” Well, when it was over and the lights were up again, Dr. Nandor Fodor tried his “voice box” - a box that is scientifically foolproof. There was not much power left - but he and I both heard a spirit voice speak softly from the interior. He seemed, for a “psychical researcher,” quite satisfied. CHAPTER NINE THE WAR DEAD RETURN The holding of a remembrance service sitting was suggested by two particular friends of mine, Sergeants Walwyn and Cross, who were killed at the same time as I was wounded when our battalion launched its attack on Mametz Wood, July, 1916. “A little token of appreciation for those who fell in the war,” was how they put it. “If it is no trouble to you,” said Sergeant Waiwyn, “we should like a little Field of Remembrance, covered with poppies.” I promised him that I would carry out his wish. At each remembrance service I had a little Field of Remembrance made of turves cut from the lawn—these were replaced after the service. At one end a large cross was placed and poppies fixed into the turves. It made a very impressive setting for the occasion. Typical of these services is the one held in 1932. It was opened with a prayer. Then followed the hymn, O God, our help in ages past, played on the gramophone, the sitters, numbering thirty, joining in the singing. During the two minutes silence, little lights were seen at the foot of the cross and among the poppies. The Last Post and Reveille were sounded by means of gramophone records.

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When I played a gramophone record of old war songs one spirit visitor stamped on the door, keeping time with the music, and sang Tipperary and The Long, Long Trail. Onward Christian Soldiers, was the next record. During its playing, a trumpet, with bands of luminous paint, was seen above our heads beating time with the music. Many spirit lights, too, were observed in different parts of the room. While further records were being played, someone banged the lid of the gramophone, and a voice asked, “Can I come in? “You are in, by the sound of you,” I replied. “You nearly knocked over the gramophone. Who are you?” “I’m Bill Jackson, if anyone wants to know,” replied the entity. At this moment a materialised hand was seen above us, beating time with the music. The hand travelled round the sitters, and several were touched. With the fading away of the hand, a voice said, “Hello, I am Captain Potter.” Asked if he knew any of us, he replied: “No, nobody here knows me, but I thought I would just drop in. I was in the 10th Warwicks.” Next came Jock Stenhouse, accompanied by his friend Evan Macdonald, who was recognised by a woman present. Addressing her, he said, “You might tell M— when you write that I came.” She promised that she would. Jock numbered off a lot of men. We could hear them numbering, one, two, three, four, and so on, in rapid succession, as if they were on parade. “Form fours,” called Jock. “Right turn. By the right, quick march.” There was a loud stamping of feet, like a regiment on the march. Now and then, Jock would call out, “Left right, left right.” Another voice said, “Hello, Damps.” addressing one of the sitters. “You know who it is, don’t you?” he asked. “I am not sure,” replied the sitter. “What, you don’t know your own brother!” There followed a natural conversation between the two brothers, in which the sitter asked if the “Old Boy” was in this show tonight. “Not so much of the old boy,” said our next visitor. There followed a confidential chat between Damps, who was an ex-officer, and the communicator, who was his superior officer. At the end he said, “I am giving way to one whom I honoured and respected in every possible way.” There followed a striking communication from one who announced himself with, “Haig is here.” Speaking “not as an orator but as a soldier,” he described his welcome when he arrived in the world beyond
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death. At the end of his exhortation to work for peace, he saluted both the seen and unseen hosts. A materialised hand was seen moving over the poppies on the little Field of Remembrance. Another voice was heard. “I do not know whether any of you will remember me,” said the speaker, “but I stood by the boys many times, and hope that I helped them in their difficulties, in their troubles and in their worries. Remembrance Day! Yes, it is Remembrance Day over here too, for it is the day that we remember the many we have left behind. I want you to remember the boys over here, representing so many nations as they did. “Those boys who used to whistle behind their well-fed horses; the boys who made workshops ring with their hammers; the boys who fed fiery furnaces; the boys who took ships across the seas, and brought them back safely; the boys who ran tiny fishing fleets; those who left India, Australia with its cloudless skies, Africa’s forests and heat, and from all over the Empire; Scotland’s wild moors and highlands, Wales, Ireland and England. All of them took note when England needed her sons to fight. In every heart was the thought of those they had left behind. “Work for the truth of survival, hope and joy. Spread this marvellous truth, for it is the way to peace. And now may the Great Spirit help those who have yet scars of battle left to them as legacies, and all the boys who fought and did not return home. God’s blessing rest among you now and forever more is the prayer of Woodbine Willie.” There followed a communication from W. T. Stead, the fearless journalist who had espoused the cause of Spiritualism on earth. He welcomed “old friends of the movement which started very small but is growing and growing, and coming like a wave of sureness, strength and knowledge to all and sundry. Fight on, my friends. Do not be afraid to hold the banner high.” Stead commented on the work that was being done in the cause of Spiritualism, and after making a few suggestions he bade us “Good night.” Next a weak voice was heard to say, “Hello.” This was followed with whistling. Then came: “I am Ernie Jackson. No! I don’t know anybody here,” he replied in answer to a sitter’s question. “I just blew in. I was in the 5th Lancs. No. I am not dead. I am alive. I am glad to be here.”

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“Hello. I am Alf. Hello, Mollie.” It was Mrs. Perriman’s brother speaking. “What are you jumping for?” he asked her. “Because you touched me,” she replied. “Well, now I am going to kiss you.” This he did. Another young man, giving his name George, called to his mother who was one of the sitters. Their talk was of a confidential nature and cannot be recorded here. “I am Lascelles,” said the next spirit speaker, “Reginald Lascelles, at your service. I lived at Godalming. What serious faces you have got. I say, if you could see yourselves, you wouldn’t look so serious.” “I am Henry Allen,” said the next communicator. “No, I am not acquainted with anyone here. I lived in the Crescent, Buxton, and I was in the 5th Rifles. I was told that I could speak to the people on earth, but did not think it possible until now. Thank you very much for letting me talk to you. Good night.” The power was dropping at this stage, and 1 was asked to play a gramophone record to lift the vibrations. Several entities made an effort to be understood, but we failed to hear what they were trying to say. More music was played, and eventually we heard a voice call: “I’m Jimmy Taylor. I have not got a regiment. I belong to the Great White Army now. I was in the London Scottish.” He was asked what he did on the other side of life. “I am doing what I never had a chance of doing on the earth, I am painting pictures. Then followed a number of boys in quick succession. “Arthur Young, from Arnley, near Leeds,” called the first. Arthur James, Jack Summers, Bobby Ellison, Robert Wood-house, Harold Thorpe, Herbert Hanson, Maxmillian Sagar, Edward Urquhart, Sammy Allen from Manchester, John Arthur Baldwin, Scotty, and a host of others. “I am also very glad of the opportunity to say a word or two,” said a soft, sweet voice. “All poppies of Flanders have memories for me, too. I am so happy to think that the British people, and the people of the Empire, for whom I was glad to die, remember the poppies. No one knows better than I, the dangers and difficulties the boys had to go through. Their sufferings, and the sadness I knew so well. “I understand some of my friends have not forgotten the day I was born again, and I can only say, God Bless them all. And to thank you, too, for memories that you give to my name. It is better to have loved and lost
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than never to have loved at all, but there are many British women who would have done the same as I. God bless, help and comfort the British women. God bless them all. I am Nurse Cavell.” The next to manifest was my wife’s brother, Douglas. Addressing the sitters, he said: “I am the medium’s brother. I went down in the Black Prince. I was only eighteen years of age.” “Hello, Bert,” began the next spirit speaker. “Who are you?” asked a sitter. “I am Stan Cross” he replied. “How are you, Stan?” I asked. “Quite well, how are you?” he answered. Stan Cross and I chatted about our army days. Two of my wife’s brothers spoke. Then came a communicator who declared: “The only way to man’s millennium is to realise that when he has finished his schooling on earth, he is making ready for the school on this side of life, where ambition is realised, and understanding is so much greater. “Please remember that you may sometimes think that you have not done as much as you would have liked, or are not as far advanced as you would wish, but your names are registered with your good deeds in large letters, and the foolish deeds in small letters. I want you to realise there is no hell or damnation, or anything of that description here. It is quite an easy matter to climb, and as you climb, it is as though you are in the field again. Everything rests with you as to whether you take advantage of the opportunities or not. I am Thomson, or as I was known on earth, Lord Thomson. We have no titles over here.” There followed a voice which announced: “Greetings to you all. I am Sefton Brancker. I just came with my friend, Thomson. Don’t be afraid to stand up and steer your ship for the right port.” “I suppose I had better come and say a word before this meeting is closed,” began the next communicator. “I am very glad, very glad indeed, to be here, for I see one or two present who were closely associated with me in the past. On Remembrance Day, I try to be in as many places as I am able.” Announcing that he was Arthur Conan Doyle, he gave a private message to one sitter, and ended by encouraging all who laboured for the truth to which he dedicated so many years of his life. The sitting lasted three hours, and over sixty spirit speakers communicated.
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The success of this experiment led us to hold a public remembrance service at the Wigmore Hall, London, when over six hundred people were present. It was arranged by The Link, an organisation for the development of home circles. The initial difficulty was that the London County Council regulations do not permit exit lights to be extinguished. As originally arranged, the medium, in the centre of an inner circle of sitters, sat facing the audience. It was found, however, that the screens placed around them did not shut out the reflected light from Mrs. Perriman. She changed her position and sat with her back to the audience in the angle of the screens and, with the aid of the curtains over the screens and a cloak, the necessary darkness was obtained. A microphone and loudspeakers were used to broadcast the spirit voices. The first voice, clear and mellow, belonged to the Rev. Walter Coulthard, whose son was on the platform. Then came Lieut. Charles Molesworth, of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, sending greetings to his people. “I am glad to be here, I am Samuel Stevens,” announced the next speaker, who was recognised by members of the audience. He said he had been connected with the Ilford Spiritualist Church, and that he was satisfied with the way they were carrying on the work. He was followed by Robert Downie Findlay calling for his son. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle greeted “my successor,” Hannen Swaffer and thanked him for his labours. “I am Arthur Thompson, and I want you to take this address down, Coop Stores, Albert Road, Blackpool,” we heard a voice say. “Tell them Arthur Thompson came through and is very much alive. I have met the old governor, Moore, and just tell Fred it doesn’t matter about his arm because he will have two when he comes over here.” The accuracy of this message was acknowledged from the audience. The identity of the next communicator, Henry Atkinson of the 2nd Manchesters, was also known to a member of the audience. Then David Davies sent his love to his wife, Madame Novello Davies, adding, quite correctly, that there was someone present who could convey his message. There was a Samuel Culley, who was immediately recognised, as were Ted Wheeler, who asked for Tilley, Eddie Hennequin, who greeted his mother, and William Brown who spoke to
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his son. These were typical of a score of communicators who gave their names and were speedily identified. Raymond Lodge, son of Sir Oliver Lodge, sent greetings to his father. John Sargent returned to confirm that he was inspiring a woman to paint. Then the loudspeaker apparatus failed, and was out of order for the remainder of the sitting. However, the voices that followed were very much clearer than they had been before. There was an imitation bugle call from Frank Robinson, who mentioned that he had been to another meeting that night and had told the medium there that he was going to try to speak at this meeting. He would go back and tell them that he had succeeded. This was later checked and confirmed. The next to speak said that he had tried to prevent war but failed. He gave his name as Edward Grey, and spoke to someone who knew him. Later he gave the name as Grey of Fallodon. ‘Then came, “I am the Rev. Hopps of Manchester, and I send my greetings to the Spiritualists of Manchester.” In responses to requests about his name, he spelt it out H-O-P-P-S, very distinctly. The proceedings were brought to a conclusion by Belle, who, after greeting us, sang her evening hymn, Now the day is over. The séance lasted two hours, and there were fifty-three spirit communicators. CHAPTER TEN SPIRIT PROOFS IN PUBLIC These pioneering efforts at broadcasting spirit voices, which were making psychic history, naturally aroused great interest. Here is an account which was published In Psychic News: “Twenty-three of the ‘dead’ spoke into a microphone at a huge séance at which there were nearly four hundred sitters, and their voices were amplified through loudspeakers so that all could hear. One of them even sang a verse of a song. “Eleven of those who received messages signed a statement to the effect that they had received from relations and friends who have departed this life unmistakable messages at the experimental sitting for the direct voice undertaken at The Link third annual conference at Thames

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House, London, on October i sth, 1933, through the mediumship of Mrs. A. E. Perriman, who was not personally acquainted with them. “The only person who could have spoken through the microphone except the spirits was the medium, and the character of the voices themselves, many of them male ones, made it impossible for a woman to have imitated them. Besides, many of the spirits gave evidence which the medium could not possibly have known. “After Belle had spoken, Hewat McKenzie, founder of the British College of Psychic Science, came through. He was heard fairly clearly throughout the hail, although the microphone installation necessarily distorted the voice to some extent. ‘Our world is joined to your world,’ be said. ‘I always wanted to be able to speak in this manner, and I spoke to my wife at the British College not so long ago.’ “Another totally different voice next manifested. ‘I am Charles Graham, of Ashton Road, Stoke-on-Trent,’ he said. ‘I was drowned at Frinton.’ “Then Billy Hope, the psychic photographer who passed on in March, came through. ‘Hello, I’m Billy Hope, of Crewe. I said I was going to come, and here I am,’ he said. “He then addressed John Myers, who was sitting in one of the circles, and who had taken psychic photographs at the conference earlier in the day. ‘Look here, lad, thou’rt all right. Thou’rt straight as ever. Don’t take any tests. We’ll help thee through.’ “The next voice was for a woman in the hail. ‘Henry Walker calling. Alice, are you there?’ “‘Yes, I am here,’ said the woman. “‘The girl’s all right. I am looking after her,’ went on the voice from the other world. I promised to come.’ ‘Yes, he did,’ commented the sitter. “Then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spoke. ‘I want you to know that Doyle is just as interested today in everything connected with the survival of life as he was when in the body,’ he said. ‘You will yet have the Albert Hall for your conferences. I hope it will be soon. Carry on as you have started. Do not be afraid. God bless the home circles.’ “There were more voices, one giving his name as William Turner, and the other asking for Arthur Simmons, and then a typical North Country entity spoke. He said he came from Mexboro, near Doncaster, and gave

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the name of the place where he worked. He spoke for some time with a delegate from Doncaster. “The next voice, that of a spirit calling himself George Ellis, said he had got in touch with his brother through The Link. “Still more voices came through the loudspeakers, and then a man’s voice shouted, ‘Good evening, everybody,’ so loudly that everyone was startled. It was Sceptre, guide of Mr. Zerdin (founder of The Link), who complained that everyone was telling him not to make so much noise. ‘Remember, The Link was started over here,’ he said. “Still the voices came. A father spoke to his son, Richard Atkinson. ‘I told you I would come,’ he said. A spirit uncle came next. He spoke to three of the audience, whom he named. Then another voice shouted ‘Thomas.’ He was immediately answered. He spoke to his son about his home circle. Then he said his wife would speak. “A soft, woman’s voice sang through the microphone Silver Threads Among the Gold. She sang the whole verse. ‘You told her not to sing that,’ said her husband when he came back. The woman spoke again after he had left. “After two more talks, Flora Macdonald spoke. ‘This has been successful,’ she said. ‘I told some of you that it would be. There are many direct-voice mediums in this hail, and you are to get busy. You could do a tremendous lot to straighten out the world—and it is very upside down at present.’ “Belle returned and closed the séance. The lights went up. The hall was a sanctuary no longer, but a restaurant again. CHAPTER ELEVEN CAST-IRON EVIDENCE FOR STRANGERS A few months later arrangements were made by The Link to hold the largest public direct voice séance at the Aeolian Hall, Bond Street, London. For weeks everyone connected with the organising of this meeting was in a state of tension. The tension reached a climax when, two days before the meeting, I informed the committee of my wife’s indisposition, and that her doctor had advised against her going to the meeting.

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As the result of a chill, acute laryngitis developed. Because of this, her doctor did not want her to run any risks. Every seat had been sold. There was no way of letting ticket holders know of the cancellation of the meeting because tickets had been distributed all over the country. We could foresee the confusion and disappointment of over six hundred people, especially those who had travelled long distances, on arriving at the hail to learn that the meeting had been cancelled. Rather than disappoint, my wife said she would run the risk, and would leave the matter in the hands of the spirit world. Despite treatment, her condition was as bad as it could be on Saturday, and I suggested that it would be absurd for her to leave the house. She insisted on going, and there was consternation among the committee when they saw her pitiable condition. Only the organiser, Mr. Noah Zerdin, seemed indifferent. “The Other Side has never let us down yet,” he said, “and it will not let us down now, of that I am sure.” How true were his words and how unfounded were our fears. Every seat was filled when the time came to begin. An inner and outer circle were formed on the stage, consisting of forty-two persons specially chosen for their psychic power or their value as good sitters. There were three microphones in the centre of the inner circle, one to be used for amplifying the voices in the auditorium, the other two for making gramophone records. When all was ready, my wife was escorted to the platform by Mr. Zerdin. To the strains of 0 God, Our Help In Ages Past, the audience combined with the platform party in creating those conditions which make for success. After an invocation, the lights were extinguished, or such as were allowed to be put out by the authorities, not without a little confusion, and the assembly sang Abide With Me. An unfortunate delay occurred. The hall lights indicating the exits were shining on the medium’s face. It was found necessary to protect her with a screen. We waited, I should think, no more than five minutes, when the first voice was heard. It was Belle, lisping childishly. Shortly afterwards a stentorian voice spoke. It was that of the Rev. Dr. Coulthard, father of Dr. H. Coulthard, who was sitting in the outer circle. “I am here to make you understand that there is no death, but life everlasting,” he said. “You must realise that you can never see clearly through a window that is dirty. You must take a duster and clean your
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window in order to see through it. The window to which I am referring is the window of your soul. Then you will see a beautiful garden in all its glory. This realisation will be the greatest achievement of your earthly journey. “Today, man cannot say that no one has ever come back to tell him of the life that is to come. There is no doubt man has to realise, more and more, that there is an overflowing goodness from the Loving Father. May each one of you, when you make the change at the junction where there are no material return tickets, find happiness in the journey, and let us hope you will find no difficulty in unlocking the door of greater understanding!” Among the many messages was one from George Hirst, who sent his greetings to George Lansbury. “You didn’t think you would ever hear me like this, did you, Nurse Groves?” said the next voice, beginning a communication to which I have referred in an earlier chapter. “I can see you up there in the balcony. It is Charles Wright. Do you hear me, Nurse Groves?” From the audience came the answer, “I hear you.” “Well, and how are you, my little pro? I wish to help you from this side. Do you remember where I lived? I lived at Lynton Villa, Virginia Road, Leeds.” The nurse replied, “That’s right, I remember.” “You were my little pro at the Women and Children’s Hospital, Leeds.” Several doctors’ names were mentioned and were all recognised by the woman in the audience. “The doctors today wear white coats, but I wore my black alpaca coat. Well, Nurse Groves, you don’t have to pick up my glasses from off the patients now as you used when I was performing an operation.” The recipient informed us that she assisted at the operations which Charles Wright performed when she was a nurse at the Women and Children’s Hospital, Leeds, nearly fifty years ago. She was now turned seventy years of age, and had married, but her maiden name was Groves. It was the first séance she had ever attended, and nobody present knew her. There followed what has since proved to be one of the most evidential occurrences of this memorable séance. It started with a voice saying: “I am William Jones, and I want to talk to my mother. You are there,

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Mother, can you hear me?” “I can hear you, my boy,” responded a woman from the audience. After an intimate talk between mother and son, he volunteered: “There is another William Jones here, but he is no relation of ours. He is unable to get through himself, but he wants to send a message. The controls have given me permission to pass on the message.” It should be noted that with the direct voice, every communicator must speak for himself or herself. That is the meaning of direct voice. Only in exceptional circumstances is the rule broken. I know only of two cases in over ten thousand communications where this has happened, and the William Jones which I am quoting was the first. “The other William Jones wants to know if someone will take a message to his sisters, Jane and Gwen. He wants them to know that he is all right, and for them not to worry about him. Tell them he has met Mum and Dad, and they were all going to look after them.” Asked if he could give the address of his sisters in order that the message could be sent, he said, “Wait a moment, I will ask him.” After a slight pause, he spoke again: “He tells me that his sisters live at Gower House, Woodland Road, Barry. Have you got it?” He then repeated the address. “Don’t forget to tell them not to worry. I am very glad that I have been able to help in this way, especially as this is the first time I have spoken like this. God bless you, Mother.” The voice changed and Philip Champion de Crespigny gave a message to his wife, Mrs. Rose Champion de Crespigny, the well-known novelist, who was in the audience. Among the many evidential communications was one from the great Arsenal football manager, who said: “I am anxious to send my greetings and love to my wife. Tell those of the Club, who have done so much for her, how much I appreciate what they have done. My name is Herbert Chapman.” Mr. Chapman’s message was sent to the Arsenal Football Club. The acting manager, acknowledging it, wrote: “Thank you very much for our late colleague’s message. Whether one believes in Spiritualism or not, it is just the sort of message our old friend would send.” There was also a message in the obvious voice of an actor, who said: “I have spoken many times before. I have spoken to a young man there in
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the audience, and told him that I would help him with his work. That is correct, is it not, Jimmy? You know who is speaking.” “Yes, I know who is speaking,” came the reply from the audience. “For the benefit of our friends, I will announce myself. I am Dennis Neilson-Terry.” One of the most interesting and evidential developments occurred when the attempt was made to check the message sent by William Jones. After the séance, Mrs. Culley, who was present, wrote to the Misses Jones of Barry Dock, telling them what had occurred. She received the following reply:

“103, Woodland Road, “Barry Dock. “7th May, 1934. “Dear Mrs. Culley, “My sister and I were rather surprised to have a letter from you last Saturday morning, with the news you kindly sent us in it. “We feel very grateful to you for sending the message on to us that you bad in your meeting at London from our dear brother William who passed away in March last. “I must say it is the first one that we have received from any of our dear ones that have passed on to the other side, and we sincerely trust that all our dear ones in our family that have passed on are all very happy. “Again thanking you very much for writing to us. “Yours very sincerely, “Jane and Gwen Jones.”

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On 12th May, Mr. Zerdin wrote to Mrs. Culley: “Dear Friend, “Was it you who received the message at the Aeolian Hall meeting from a William Jones, and asked to convey the message from another William Jones to Jane and Gwen of Barry? “I have had the letter sent on to me which you sent to Mrs. Perriman, and I shall be very much obliged if you will kindly let me have a copy of that letter. If you have not, please tell me exactly what you have written to Jane and Gwen, as such things are ‘wanted for evidence and should be put on record. “Did you know the two ladies in question before you received the message, and when was the last sitting you had with Mrs. Perriman? “I am not asking these questions in any spirit of unbelief, but as organiser and chairman of The Link, it is my duty to have all the evidence in full detail and as clear as possible. “Trusting that you will be good enough to let me hear from you by return.” Mrs. Culley replied: “Cardiff. “14th May, 1934. “Dear Mr. Zerdin, “The message sent by William Jones was not intended for me. But after the meeting, when it was suggested to me, I said I would give it to Jane and Gwen Jones. I am sorry I did not make a copy of the letter I sent to them, but I received the answer by return of post. The answer I sent immediately to Mrs. Perriman. I had no idea of the ladies in question, or of such an address. The last sitting I had with Mrs. Perriman was about the middle of March. “When I wrote to Barry, I said I was asked to give them a message but did not know of their existence or if there was such an address. I gave them the message and said they could find an account of the meeting in Psychic News, May 5th, and offered to see them if they wished. No mention was made of the offer in their letter of thanks. I then sent off a copy of the paper. This is all I can tell you. I hope it has been of service.

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Mr. Zerdin also wrote to the Misses Jones: “Dear Friends, “Your letter of 7th May addressed to Mrs. Culley has been passed on to me. “I am the chairman and organiser of the above organisa— tion and I was also chairman of the meeting at the .IEolian Hall, where the message from your brother, William Jones, was received, and for the purpose of evidence, I shall be obliged if you will kindly let me have a few particulars.

“(i) Is the name of the house where you live, Gower House? “(2) Do you know or.did you know Mrs. Culley prior to receiving the message? “(i) Are you Spiritualists and members of any Spiritualist organisation?

“I hope that you will understand that I am asking these questions not out of curiosity, but for the purpose of getting at the truth which is so important to all of us. “Thanking you in anticipation of the favour of your reply.”

They replied: “103, Woodland Road, “Barry Dock, Glam. “10th May, 1934. “Mr. N. Zerdin, “Dear Sir, “In reply to your letter of the 14th, which we received from you with regard to the message that came through from my brother, William Jones, in your meeting at the Aeolian Hall: “(i) Yes. This house is called Gower House, but as you see by this letter we always, when writing, use the number 103, and not the name, also my brother did the same when corresponding to everybody. “(2),.Also I never knew Mrs. Culley, nor heard of her name before she wrote us.
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“(s) We are not Spiritualists. “Yours faithfully, “J. and G.Jones.”

Reference has also been made to the fact that one microphone, at the last moment, failed to operate and nobody but the engineers knew which one it was. In the darkness it would have been impossible for the medium to have known which of the two was operative, yet never was there a voice that failed to be recorded. It is interesting to record that the engineers, skeptical of the whole proceedings prior to the séance, were, at the end, inclined to accept this incident as the best evidence of all, more especially as they had carefully adjusted the microphone to receive a certain volume of sound, and this volume, known to the spirit world, was employed throughout. The most ambitious of the public séances was held at the Victoria Hall, London, on 27th April, 1935. We had discussed from time to time, with those in the Other World, the possibility of getting the voices in some sort of light, as we thought, by achieving this, it would remove from suspicious minds any idea of fraud. Light, as we know, destroys or neutralises certain vibrations. It is common knowledge to the listening-in public that long-distance stations radiating during the daytime are not so well picked up by their wireless receiving sets as they are when darkness sets in. Those familiar with the scientific side of wireless know the explanation. Again, we all know that photographic plates have to be developed in the dark. The ectoplasm used to build the apparatus necessary for the direct voice, as explained in an earlier chapter, becomes affected when subjected to light, thus making communication almost impossible under these conditions. Hence the reason for dark séances. However, we have always found the spirit world ready and anxious to co-operate with us in our endeavours to progress. And so we started experimenting. It was by experimenting that we succeeded in getting the direct voice in red light. There have been occasions when spirit voices have been heard in white light, and at different times in daylight. So we come to the Victoria Hall experiment. At this séance two further experiments were tried. A special box, constructed by Dr. Nandor
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Fodor, Research Officer for the International Institute for Psychic Research, London, was used. It was hoped that it would be possible for a spirit “larynx” to be built inside the dark cabinet formed by the box, while the rest of the hail was in light. A tube connected the box to the back of the medium’s neck. The second experiment was the making of gramophone records of the voices. A gramophone company collaborated and installed a recording outfit on the stage. The light was not brilliant, but it was sufficient to enable all sitters to see each other clearly. During the greater part of the séance, the medium was partially protected from the light by a curtain held in front of her by two men. But the voices were heard even before this, when everyone could see the medium at the same time that the spirit communicators were talking. The experiment with the box was not a success, although voices were heard indistinctly. Dr. Fodor, who was sitting next to his box, said he could not be sure whether the voices came from inside the box or not, but they were heard in that vicinity. Dr. Fodor’s box was disconnected because the voices were not sufficiently loud to be relayed by the loudspeakers. But then a remarkable thing happened. The box had been disconnected, and while the lights were still on, shining directly on my wife, spirit voices were heard. These were even louder than those that spoke when the box was in use. The voice of Belle was plainly heard. It was not possible to turn out all the lights in the hail. The exit lights had to be retained, as well as other coloured lights along the walls. Also, light was streaming in beneath the curtains at the windows. Everything was clearly visible. The voices were strong and clear, and came plainly through the loudspeakers. The microphone to the loudspeakers broke down, but the voices were loud enough to be heard by the people sitting in the farthermost seats in the hall. All the voices were recorded on wax discs under the direction of Dr. Fodor. In all, six double-sided twelve-inch records were made, and these are a wonderful and lasting testimony of what happened on this memorable occasion. Early in the séance there was an address by the Rev. Dr. Walter Coulthard. “I am the Rev. Edward White, late Rector of Bourton-on-the-Water,” announced a voice soon afterwards. “I have been brought here by the
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Rev. Dr. Coulthard. My father, the Rev. John White, also is here. Will you please let my people know at Bourton-on-the-Water, and tell them I am going to preach the same tale only with a different ending? I have come here purposely to give the Church a chance, for now I understand. Please make the matter public Get in touch with those that are near. Get in touch with my people and tell them all that I will preach again, in my old place, but through another.” The details supplied by the Rev. Edward White were I followed up, and everything he told us proved to be correct. Some months later, we were visited by a group of people, all strangers to us, to whom we gave a sitting. Before going into the séance room we sat talking. I happened to mention the gramophone records that had been made of the voices, and referred to the Rev. Edward White, once Rector of Bourton-on-theWater. “The Rev. Edward White?” said one woman. “I knew him. I used to live at Bourton-on-the-Water, and always went to service at Mr. White’s church.” “That is very interesting,” I said. “If you like, I will play the record on which his voice is heard.” While it was being played she became excited. “Why,” she exclaimed, “it might be his real self! His voice is the same, and I can picture him standing in his pulpit delivering his sermon. It’s wonderful. If I did not know he had passed into the higher life, I would have thought he must have spoken those words when in the body.” Another spirit communicator at this public séance asked I that his relatives should be told he had communicated. “I am William Howarth,” he said, “and I lived in York, at No. 24, Westgate.” He wanted someone named Symons to be told that he had communicated, and mentioned the name of Lily. Bill Jackson, a regular communicator, made everyone laugh when he came throngh. “They’ve won,” he said, “aye, they’ve won, by gum they’ve won!” “Who’s won?” asked a sitter. “Why, Sheffield,” said Jackson. “They’ve won the coop.” The day on which this sitting was held coincided with the F.A. Cup Final, at Wembley, when Sheffield Wednesday won the F.A. Cup. Apparently, our friend Jackson was a keen football enthusiast when he lived on earth, and still is.
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At the end, the Rev. Dr. Coulthard pronounced the blessing, and Belle called a cheery “Good night” to all. And so closed an amazing sitting. At long last we had heard spirits communicating their messages of love and understanding in the direct voice in light. CHAPTER TWELVE SPIRIT VOICES IN CHURCH On Whit Sunday, 4th July, 1933, with a party of friends motoring for pleasure, we came to the old village of Fingest, Bucks. We decided to pay a visit to the parish church, reputed to be one of the oldest in England. Our party numbered eight. While going over the old church, which is small and distinct in character, comments were made on its peace and harmony. We were standing silently gazing around when we were startled to hear, coming from the, direction of the altar and somewhere above it, a male voice pronouncing a blessing. One of the party remarked, “It seems to come from the cross.” Immediately, the voice replied, “To the cross I cling.” Relating the incident afterwards, a member of the party said: “When I first heard the voice I felt afraid. I stood facing Mrs. Perriman when the voice spoke again. It was most beautiful voice, strong and cultured.” On Whit Monday afternoon, it was decided to visit an other old church in the district. No demonstration occurred. However, one of our party, a woman gifted with clairvoyance, mentioned that she had seen an old priest, clothed in cream robes, who said to her, “The blessing of the Church Triumphant be upon you, my children.” We left and, after some discussion, decided to visit the old church at Fingest again. There was no one in the churchyard when we entered the church, and remembering all that had happened the previous day we walked with even more reverence and quiet. The simple old structure was filled with a sense of peace and harmony. So intense was the silence it felt as if we had been transported away from civilisation. We wandered around for a moment or two, looking at and admiring the furnishings. The clairvoyant member of the party and my wife moved towards the altar steps. A cord was thrown across to prevent the public trespassing beyond the choir. The rest of us sat down directly behind.
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We were all engaged in prayer when from the altar a voice, deep and resonant, spoke in an unmistakable man’s tones. Though we could not catch all the words uttered, we distinctly heard, “God bless and keep you all till we meet again.” There was a short silence and the voice spoke again, as though concluding a service. Then another voice said reverently, “Amen.” The hush was so great that we felt we did not want to move. The woman who was clairvoyant told us that she saw a man in a beautiful blue robe with a cape attached to the shoulders, and that he had uttered the prayer. There was another old man, bent in form, clothed in a plain dark cassock, who said in a deep voice, “Amen.” After a minute or two, we rose from our seats and made quietly towards the door. Just as we were about to leave, a voice spoke from above our heads saying, “God bless you all.” We got into the cars bound for home. Discussing the happenings, our clairvoyant referred to the delight it must have given the communicators to be able to speak again in the old church, and how grateful we should be for our experience. As she ended her comments the voice of a spirit relative chipped in, saying, “Yes.” This woman recognised his voice immediately, and from then on he conversed with his mother and her, and answered questions put to him by my wife. The spirit speaker confirmed what she had seen clairvoyantly, and gave the year 1405 as being connected with the voice that had spoken to us. It so happened that this woman had taken from the church one of its small pamphlets recording its known history. On looking at the pamphlet, among the priests officiating at that time, the nearest date being 1406, she found two names. Before she bad time to say any more, her spirit relative chimed in, “Skinner is the name. It is the second name in connection with that date.” This we found to be correct when we examined the pamphlet. Continuing, she told him of the old priest she had seen in the other church, and he confirmed it before she had time to deal with the incident It is interesting to note that on the way to the church this lady had heard psychically the following message: “You are to receive a demonstration that you will never forget.” She did not mention this message to anyone. As she said: “When leaving the first church visited, I thought, can this message refer to anything happening today, for nothing of particular import has occurred except the glimpse of the old priest I think you will
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admit that the message was faithfully fulfilled, for I certainly shall not forget the wonderful voice that breathed upon us the blessing in the old church at Fingest. When we walked around the church afterwards no one was in the grounds, though, as we left the gate, others came forward to enter as we had done. CHAPTER THIRTEEN TESTIMONY FROM A STRANGER One morning I was telephoned by the editor of Psychic News and asked if I could supply him with a photograph of my wife. When I asked the reason, he told me that he had received an interesting letter from a man containing an account of a sitting he had attended with a group of people when my wife was the medium. The editor wanted to publish the account and was anxious to have a photograph of my wife to accompany it. I asked if he would supply me with the name of his correspondent. When he told me, I could not recall a person of that name having visited us. However, when I read the account in Psychic News, I found that its author had no right to be present at that particular sitting. It had been arranged specially for members of The Link, and he was not a member. Still, let us read what this man, John Curr, had to say: “This is how it happened,” he began. “About six months ago, just previous to the publication of the first number of Psychic News, I read J. Arthur Findlay’s book, On the Edge of the Etheric. “I am forty-five years of age, and, up till now, I have failed to form any philosophy, or to find a religion, that made life intelligible. Findlay’s arguments and explanations sounded reasonable, and I decided to study the subject of Spiritualism. I read many books on the subject, attended many public meetings, and appeared to get no satisfaction or make any spiritual progress whatever. “Then the unexpected happened. I was sitting in the lounge of a London hotel one day, reading Stanley de Brath’s Psychic Philosophy, when a stranger spoke to me, observing that he was interested in the subject of the book I was reading. Through this man’s influence I was introduced into a direct voice séance, and on Friday, 25th November, 1932, I had my first experience of some extraordinary phenomena.
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“There were present about fourteen people, none of whom I had met before. Owing to the controversy in a Sunday newspaper, I paid attention to John Myers (the psychic, photographer), who was present with his wife. In the séance room I was allotted a seat by the medium, Mrs. Perriman, in front of the fireplace. After a short invocation, the gramophone started playing, and immediately Mr. Perriman announced that he was going to extinguish the two red lamps We were left in total darkness. The gramophone was playing Lead Kindly Light, and all the sitters joined in singing the melody played by the gramophone. “In about two minutes a hazy blue spirit light began flickering rapidly about the room above the heads of the sitters, and almost immediately a childish voice said, ‘Good evening, everybody.’ We all responded with ‘Good evening,’ and one of the female sitters asked if the light we had seen was the spirit light of the child speaker. The childish voice replied, ‘Yes, watch me,’ and the blue hazy light again commenced to float about very rapidly. “The voice then addressed me with, ‘Hullo! Mr. Beethoven,’ and I replied, ‘Hub! How did you know I was a musician?’ In a very bantering tone, accompanied with a laugh, the voice replied, I saw you coming in.’ Various other sitters addressed the spirit, and were replied to in a very happy tone by the voice. The childish spirit entity, Belle, then bade us ‘Good evening.’ “All the time the gramophone kept playing. Then suddenly, from a position, as far as I could judge of about a yard in front of the medium and about two feet from the ceiling, a deep dignified voice of a man said, ‘Good evening, friends.’ We greeted this entity in the same manner, and he told us he was John Taylor, the father of George Taylor, a bandmaster. The voice spoke of the great pleasure he had had in observing the progress we were making in psychic research. “After a short interval of silence, we were greeted by a female voice speaking with a very pronounced Scottish accent. After this entity had spoken with several of the other sitters, I asked her which part of Scotland she came from, adding that I did not recognise the particular dialect she was using. She replied, ‘Och mon! I come from Tarbet, Loch Fyne.’ I then said that I recognised the West Highland dialect, but had never met anyone from Argybshire, and consequently did not recognise the ‘twang.’ I must confess that at this point of the proceedings I felt just
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a bit sceptical regarding the genuineness of this spirit entity. I was born in Scotland, and had made a particular study of the various dialects of my native country. “However, my doubts were soon dispelled when a male voice, with ever so slight a Scottish accent, announced him self as Crookes, a Scottish photographer. This entity had a long conversation with John Myers. I joined in the conversation with this voice, saying that I was very pleased to meet a fellow-countryman, and asked which part of Scotland he came from. The voice replied that if I knew Edinburgh I would know him as well as I knew Princes Street. He also stated that he had a photographer’s business in Glasgow. This I verify as being absolutely correct in every detail. This entity spoke like a master of the art of photography, and I recollect quite distinctly that his business was acknowledged by Edinburgh citizens as the highest of artistic standing. “Another interesting spirit entity was a person who called himself Joe. He said he lived ‘in Yorkshire when on earth, and his dialect certainly left us in no doubt of his native county. Joe was bombarded with quite a number of questions relating to many places with which he was familiar in Yorkshire and he supplied all details of the places and districts mentioned. Joe was what he himself described as a ‘pretty rough ‘un’ when on earth, and though he had been in a humorous vein till now said that when he passed over, he was told, ‘Never tha’ mind, lad; tha’st done tha’ bit.’ “After Joe had bid us ‘Good evening,’ another spirit entity, who, I was informed, was one of Mrs. Perriman’s controls greeted us, and said that if we would put our hands on our solar plexus he would try an experiment. He told us to watch the centre of the circle, and after a period of from what I could judge would be about a minute and a half two lights, like a bluish haze, appeared on the floor. The lights were just the size of the average man’s feet. They walked over the floor with distinct thuds as if a human being were walking over the floor. The gramophone was playing a melody in four-four time, and the ‘feet’ commenced to dance in strict time with the music. The ‘feet’ then left the floor and floated in the air, and returned again to the floor, continued to dance, and again floated upwards, disappearing from sight before reaching the ceiling. “The last spirit entity to manifest was Flora, the Scotswoman who had previously said that she had lived at Tarbet, Loch- Fyne. We were
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allowed to ask her questions individually, and some very intimate and personal questions were asked and answered to the entire satisfaction of every questioner. “An extraordinary feature of the proceedings was the fact that, while two aluminium trumpets kept floating about the room, none of the voices spoke through them. Had they done so, my trained ear would have detected a more directional tendency of the voices. “Have I dreamed all this? Was any person present playing tricks on me? To the first question I answer emphatically, and as a student of psychology, that I was never so much in a state of awareness in my life. To the second I answer that the question of fraud is the most absurd and untenable hypothesis I can think of. No, I am dumbfounded. I can offer no explanation, but I am heartily grateful for the privilege conferred on me for being allowed to have this wonderful experience.” CHAPTER FOURTEEN GIFT FROM THE OTHER SIDE We invited a number of friends to a sitting to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Belle opened the proceedings and, after wishing my wife many happy returns of the day, greeted all sixteen sitters in turn. One of the first to communicate was the medium’s brother, who greeted her with: “Hello, Mollie! Do you know who it is? It’s Alf. Many happy returns, old girl.” “Not so much of the old girl,” said my wife. “Well, you don’t want me to say ‘young girl,’ do you?” After giving his sister a message, he made way for his brother, who announced himself: “It’s Willie. How are you, dear Moffie?” When the medium complained that she rarely heard from her brothers, and wanted to know if they had deserted her, he answered: “Well, my dear, you know we are here, but there are other people who haven’t heard from those who have passed into the higher life. We don’t love or think any the less of you, and we will see what can be done for you.” Next we heard: “It’s Mother. Are you there, my dear? You know I want to help you all I can.” “You sound so sad, Mother,” said the medium, “aren’t you happy?”

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“It’s not that I am sad. It is because I am backward in getting used to this. I am often with you. Don’t think that because you do not hear, I am not with you. I want to tell you that you are doing the right thing. If you were doing wrong, I should tell you. Carry on the good work. Hold your head high. God bless you.” My mother-in-law was an ardent Roman Catholic, which explains why the medium sought her opinion on the work she was doing. After some of the sitters had received evidential communications, my wife was again addressed. We heard: “Hello, Mollie! It’s your Uncle George.” “I don’t know you,” replied my wife. “I never had an Uncle George.” “Oh yes, you did!” said the voice. An argument followed. “Allow me to know,” declared my wife. “I never had an Uncle George, and I certainly don’t know you.” “Yes you did, and I am your Uncle George,” the communicator repeated. I could see this discussion continuing for some time, so I told the communicator that as my wife had denied all knowledge of having an Uncle George, no good purpose would be served by him insisting that he was her Uncle George. I added that we were always pleased to welcome friends from the other world, but we would not allow anyone to come under false colours. “She always called me Uncle George,” was the answer. “I am George Simpson, her godfather, and she always called me Uncle George.” “Good heavens!” exclaimed the medium. “That is true. I haven’t seen you since I was a little girl, and I had forgotten all about you. I did call you Uncle George, but after all these years I had forgotten. I thought you were claiming to be a relative.” “Never mind, my dear,” he said. “I have come to tell you I want to help you in your work in any way I can. And I’m going to do so. Good evening, you good people. Now I will explain my presence. I want to tell you that it does not matter whether you are Jew or Gentile, you have all got to come the same way home. You have to make good your mistakes. I was a Catholic. And now, good night, and don’t forget I’m still your Uncle George.”

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There was a touch of humour when a nurse was greeted with: “Kate! It’s your mother. I am very well, dear, and I am glad to know that you are, too. You helped yourself to a banana when nobody was looking. You didn’t think I had my eye on you, did you?” This made us laugh. The nurse admitted that she had helped herself to a banana at the nursing home that day. “Bert, my boy, how are you, ‘Hail smiling morn’?’ said one spirit voice. It was my mother addressing me. She wished my wife “many happy returns,” and added: “I like my photograph. It was thoughtful of you to get it done.” Flora came at the end and said to the medium: “We are going to try to give you a little present. If we are able, well and good, but you must not be disappointed if we fail.” I She asked for some music on the gramophone to provide a little more power to help to bring an apport. The sitters were asked to place their hands on their solar plexus. The medium was told to hold out her hands. Handel’s Largo was played on the gramophone and we sat expectantly. Before the record had finished playing, my wife said, “Something has dropped in my hand.” Flora announced that the gift was a symbol of love and sacrifice, in appreciation of her service and the sacrifices made in being a willing instrument. The apport was a black onyx cross, two and a half inches I by two inches, surmounted with gold filigree, a beautiful piece of work. We had no idea whence it came. When we asked, we were told that we would find out one day. A man to whom the cross was shown said he recognised the style of workmanship. There was only one place in the world where such work was done, and that was in South America. CHAPTER FIFTEEN TALE OF TWO SITTINGS By now we had reached the stage where our communicators were providing independent evidence of their identity by speaking elsewhere. This was borne out in the following account in Psychic News by A. W. Austen: “The cross-evidence between Hannen Swaffer’s home I circle and Mrs. Perriman is now complete. The chief control of each has spoken in the circle of the other. Several times I have heard at Mrs. Perriman’s
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séances spirits with whom I have frequently conversed at Swaffer’s circle. On Monday, Belle, of Mrs. Perriman’s group, was one of the communicators at Swaffer’s circle. “Four members of the Swaffer circle, including the trumpet medium and her husband, were guests of Mrs. Perriman at a direct voice séance last week. Among the thirty spirits we heard were White Shadow, the chief guide, Joan, a niece of the three sitters in the Swaffer circle, and Lottie, Swaffer’s ‘dead’ sister-in-law. “This was the first time that our trumpet medium had been able to talk with her guide, White Shadow, in the direct voice. She always hears him clairaudiently, and White Shadow has been able to say a few words in his own circle, with the medium out of trance. But this was the first long conversation he had had with her through another medium. It was the first time, also, that she had spoken to Joan or Lottie. She told me afterwards that, at the Perriman séance, she saw White Shadow, Joan and Lottie clairvoyantly, as well as Belle and several of the other communicators. “Then, on Monday, not only did Belle speak at our circle, but White Shadow and Joan both confirmed that they had spoken through the Perriman mediumship. “Remarkably good evidence was given by Dennis Bradley at the Perriman séance. Addressing a Mrs. Thompson, he said: ‘I believe you have seen my wife today. Are you going to keep your promise?’ “‘I hope so,’ the woman replied. “‘You know what I mean?’ Bradley asked. “‘Yes,’ said the woman. “‘It is strange that we should meet in this manner.’ went on the spirit. ‘I have never met you before.’ “‘That is so,’ said Mrs. Thompson. Then she added, ‘You were with us the other day.’ “‘Yes,’ said Bradley. ‘Why didn’t you say you saw me? I was leaning over the couch, at the end.’ “‘Yes, I saw you,’ said the woman. ‘But I did not know whether Mrs. Bradley would believe me.’

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“‘Rubbish,’ remarked the spirit. ‘Stick to the truth,’ urged Bradley as he left. Mrs. Thompson related after the séance that she had been in the company of Dennis Bradley’s wife that day. “Belle greeted all the sitters, and her spirit light flitted gaily among them. The Rev. Dr. Couhhard had a confidential talk with his son who was one of the sitters. Flora Macdonald, whose broad Scots accent is well known, discoursed at length. “There were little bits of humour through the séance, but some of it was unintentional, such as, for example, when a spirit asked for his son, who had failed to attend. ‘I am disgusted with him, and you can tell him so,’ said the voice gruffly. “While a spirit mother was talking to her son, the son remarked, ‘How is Teddy?’ Instantly the voice changed and Teddy remarked, ‘I can speak for myself'. This happened several times during the séance, other relatives breaking in much as they would in an earthly conversation. It was done more quickly than could happen on the telephone. "When the next spirit voice spoke, the sitter, the spirit’s daughter, was obviously trying to get some proof the spirit was determined not to give. ‘Give your sister my love,’ said the voice. 'I don’t know which one you mean,’ said the sitter. “‘Now, don’t try that,’ the spirit replied. 'I told you last time we were talking. Why do you ask me to repeat, my dear? Just take your memory back.’ Then the mother explained that she did not want to mention names then, as it might destroy the evidence when she spoke to the other daughter, who was apparently sceptical. “Throughout the sitting, the voices gave evidence, recognised by the people for whom it was intended, but un intelligible to the rest of the sitters.” CHAPTER SIXTEEN A ROSE FROM BEYOND We had a very fine materialisation when a sitting was arranged for Mr. Noah Zerdin and his family prior to a trip he was making abroad. After Belle had shown her spirit light, she announced that “somebody is trying to do something,” and asked us to wait. Then we heard a communicator, Mr. Zerdin’s wife, say: “Mother! Look! I’m here.
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Mother, look!” A materialised form began to develop, surrounded in ectoplasmic drapery. Speaking excitedly, she greeted her relatives in turn. Oh, my dearest, I’ll be with you, she told Mr. Zerdin. “Daddy, I am here,” we heard. Then came, “My sister and my dearly beloved,” followed by, “Mother, I am alive! Mum, I am! My darling mum, my love.” The room was filled with perfume. Belle announced that she had helped the spirit visitor to materialise. “She wanted you all to see her and know she was there,” she added. Then addressing Mr. Zerdin she said: “You are coming back. You are not going for good. There is something I have handed to your wife to give to you to take away with you. It is not an apport. It is a present.” Mr. Zerdin was told to hold out his hand, in which a rose was dropped. “I helped her to find it.” said Belle, adding, “Oh, dear, why did you drop it?” Belle picked up the rose from the floor and handed it to Mr. Zerdin’s wife, who passed it to him, and threw kisses. “Don’t let anyone touch it,” she said. “The hands that have given it to you are no longer material, but they’re the hands of love. At this point, the figure, more solid in its materialisation, moved towards Mr. Zerdin and appeared to kiss him. He greeted his wife by name and they embraced. “Look at the figure,” Belle said to me. The form moved round the room. The face was distinctly seen. It appeared to be protected by fine ectoplasmic gauze, and was draped with a shawl of gossamer, weighted with fine dew drops that felt very cold when the garment was thrown over you, and you passed through it. The figure went over to her mother and father, showed her face and threw kisses. An odour of ozone mingled with perfume filled the room. When Mr. Zerdin commented on the wonderful sitting the family were having, Belle said: “Exceptional people get exceptional sittings. See what love and sympathy can do. Then the atmosphere was lightened by a touch of comedy. I was listening with interest to all that was being said. My elbows were resting on the gramophone, and my chin was in my cupped hands. Suddenly the gramophone was pulled away, and I found myself on the floor. Belle laughed at my predicament, but I am afraid I did not see the joke. Victims never do. The gramophone had been taken to the other side of
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the room. When I had recovered from my unexpected downfall, the gramophone was brought back to me by the unseen operators. The gramophone is a large cabinet, and as there were over fifty ten and twelve inch records inside, it required a great amount of power to move it. Once again the scent of perfume pervaded the room. Belle said that it came from the bouquet that Mrs. Zerdin had brought when she materialised. Finally the spirit voice of Mrs. Zerdin was heard asking her husband to take the red rose from his buttonhole and to place it in her materialised hand. When he did so, she placed it to her lips and took it away. After the sitting we searched the room to find out whether the rose Mr. Zerdin had given his wife was still there, but it had vanished. One evening, some time later, we were holding what we thought would be an ordinary sitting, but from the beginning we realised something unusual was about to happen. The atmosphere was electrical, quite unlike the customary conditions. The eleven sitters all commented upon it. We all felt buoyant as if some big load had been lifted off our shoulders. A strong, unknown, male addressed us in impressive tones saying that it was a memorable occasion. The speaker announced that we were to be presented with apports, which we were asked to value more than gold. These would be gifts for three of the oldest workers in our cause associated with the medium. First of all, Belle insisted on taking a hand in the proceedings in her usual jocular manner. She blew a small whistle which she had taken from one sitter at a previous meeting and then handed it to him. Then she said to me, “Let me come past you.” I felt her brush by. A few seconds afterwards, she told another man, “Here, take it out,” and laughed. “Take out what?” he asked. “There is something in the trumpet, take it out,” said Belle. She pushed the trumpet towards him. He put his hand in and pulled out his tobacco pouch. “Where did you get this?” he asked. “From your coat pocket outside,” said Belle. “How did you know it was my coat?” was the next question. “Never you mind,” replied Belle, “I knew it.” She then said we were going to have a
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wonderful evening and, coming over to another sitter, gave him his pipe. This article had been taken from the pocket of his overcoat which was hanging in the hall. Other sitters asked could she bring them something. Belle answered, “Wait a bit.” Then to another man she handed a heavy cigarette case, which was full, and which she had opened. Saying, “This is a funny thing, it shuts,” she presented another sitter with his slide rule. One man said, “You can’t bring anything from my pockets, Belle, because they are empty.” “I will go and see,” was her reply. “Funny, what’s this?” she asked, and handed him a handkerchief which she said she had found in the corner of a pocket. Each article had been brought from the apparel belonging to the appropriate recipient from the hall. Belle then referred to the apports that were being prepared, and said they were to be handled only by the recipients and not to be lost on any account. Next came an evidential and personal conversation between a spirit communicator and her brother, who expressed his delight with the lilies brought for his birthday, and could be heard sniffing the perfume from them. Appropriate music was requested and instructions given to the sitters to place their hands on the solar plexus, with fingers extended about one inch apart. The lucky ones were then asked to hold out a hand to receive the apport, which was delivered by materialised fingers gently placing it in the palm. One sitter said the apport was quite warm, with a dry heat, as if taken from an oven. More than thirty spirit voices addressed us, many on intimate and personal matters, which for obvious reasons are not recorded. Others could be heard singing the words of hymns and songs, quite apart from the sitters. There were three apports. A white, oval cameo, in bas relief, of a fine patriarch’s head; a black cameo of a woman of Grecian type; and a stone-coloured cameo of a Grecian woman, with very fine features. The sitting had lasted three and a half hours.

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN DOCTOR EXAMINES SPIRIT LARYNX At two experimental sittings, we introduced a special type of fluorescent screen to assist the spirit world to demonstrate “etheric television.” As it was an experiment, we did not know whether it would meet with success or not, but we were always ready to try anything new if it meant increasing our knowledge of the operation of psychic laws. There was no demonstration at the first sitting, which was mainly given over to instructions and personal messages to the sitters. At the next sitting, Belle was the first to speak. She had a cheery word for each sitter, and announced: “I am going to bring my little blue bird. I want you to see it, and hear it sing.” At first we were unable to see anything, although we could hear a faint whistle. After a while, we observed a light appear and take the form of a bird. When it was fully formed, it took to flying round the room and whistling a shrill note. Flora spoke, and told us to move the big luminous screen, which was resting on a chair, to a position where it would not reflect its light on the medium. Soon the shadow of a cross was thrown on the screen. “I have brought the cross from the mantelpiece and put it back again,” said Belle. The cross referred to was an apport brought at a previous sitting. It is a solid piece of work in green marble, and weighs nearly half a pound. Belle told us she was going to try to do something. “Look!” she said. We saw lights appear behind and above the screen. The number of lights increased, and there was one extra large patch of luminosity. On the screen we observed a shadow, but we could not define any shape. Another large light appeared, and the mass of lights began moving about the room. Belle said she was going to get something. We saw the trumpet, illumined by reflected light from the screen, sail up to the ceiling. “I’m going to do something else,” said Belle. She carried some roses from a vase on the mantel piece, held them in front of the screen, and touched one of the woman sitters on the head. “I can see your little hand holding the rose, Belle,” said this sitter. A spirit voice told us that they were ready to experiment. The screen, which weighs over fourteen pounds, began slowly to rise. Higher and
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higher it went until we heard it knock against the ceiling. It remained there for some time, the luminous side being visible to us. Then it began to descend, revolving very quickly in space. It then went from one side of the room to the other at a quick rate. Following these gyrations it gradually descended and came to rest on the chair. Not a sound was heard. Then we were told that an attempt would be made to materialise the spirit larynx used for speaking. Within a foot of Dr. Coulthard’s face, there appeared a materialised structure showing movement of different parts as the control spoke through it. “I am talking to you,” he said, “and I want you all to see how this works. Now I am up here.” We heard the voice coming from the ceiling. “Now I am coming right away, here, in front of you.” The voice descended from the ceiling and spoke to the doctor. “You saw the larynx manipulated, doctor?” “Yes,” was the reply. “Then I would like you to express your opinion,” he was asked. Here is Dr. H. Coulthard’s report on the materialised larynx: “Striking proof of the modus operandi of the direct voice phenomenon was given me at a Mrs. Perriman séance a few clays ago, when a complete ectoplasmic larynx was material ised less than two feet in front of me. “I was able to see the whole of the working parts of the larynx, and have no hesitation in declaring, as a medical man, that the structure I saw was an exact replica of a human larynx. “This remarkable experiment was made by one of Mrs. Perriman’s controls. I was sitting two chairs away from the medium, and the séance room was so arranged that it was impossible for Mrs. Perriman to move from her seat. Directly in front of her had been placed a new instrument with which we were experimenting. “I heard the voice of the control talking in front of me. Then there appeared straight in front of me and about eighteen inches away, a phosphorescent replica of a typical anatomical larynx. It was shown in such a position that I could see clearly its construction. “Inside the larynx there were the vocal cords or folds. These cords, when one is speaking, move from side to side. When the voice is not being used the cords are motionless. While I was looking at this spirit
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larynx, I heard the control talking. As he spoke, the vocal cords moved in exactly the way I would expect if I were able to watch a human larynx at work. The spirit varied the pitch of his voice, speaking sometimes high and sometimes low. These changes were all accompanied by the appropriate movements of the cords. The distance between the cords varied as the pitch varied. “I am convinced that it would have been impossible for the medium to have produced such a model as I saw. Even if she were able to get out of her chair, and in front of me, she would still have to work the model without her hands being visible. She would require considerable technical knowledge, which I am sure she does not possess, to be able to move the cords exactly as they should be moved when the voice was speaking. Besides, the voice was distinctly that of a man. “The larynx seemed to me to be floating. The phosphorescent nature of the substance naturally made it a trifle blurred, but it was sufficiently clear for me to certify that it was in all respects similar to a human larynx.” CHAPTER EIGHTEEN SÉANCE HELD IN A GARDEN We had now reached the stage where all our sittings were held in red light, so that sitters and medium I could see one another. We had to avoid the light shining directly on my wife. The first sitting, held under this new condition, for a woman and her friend, surpassed all expectations. We anticipated some difficulty for new spirit communicators to master the conditions. We would not have been disappointed had they failed, for we realised how hard it was to have the direct voice under any conditions. It was, therefore, with much pleasure that we heard the woman’s husband speak loudly and clearly. He spoke to his wife for ninety minutes without a break, discussing everything relating to her daily routine. I suggested I might try an experiment. I told him that I was astounded by his success, having regard to ‘the fact that he was, apart from our controls, the first to communicate under the new conditions. Would he try to speak if I in-creased the intensity of light? I had a rheostat attached to the light, controlled from the table on which I made my notes. I was using a sixty-watt lamp.
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The spirit speaker said, “Carry on.” As he engaged in conversation with his wife, I gradually increased the light until it reached maximum intensity. Never once did the spirit voice falter. When I told him the light was at its fullest, he replied, “Well, sir, you can’t fade me out,” much to our amusement. When the light was full on, everything in the room was plainly visible. We have heard spirit voices in all kinds of places and in daylight, white, red and subdued light. Sometimes we have been amused, but there have been embarrassing happenings. There was the occasion when my wife and I went to a cinema. We sat in the front row of the balcony. A variety act was featuring “Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora Macdonald.” As the artists were singing, Flora put in appearance. “Och, this is great,” she said. “A wee bit o’ Scotch.” My wife and I looked at one another in surprise, wondering whether the people in the adjoining seats had heard. Our embarrassment was increased when Flora joined the artists in singing Bonnie Mary of Argyle. The people around us heard all right, for they commented on there being someone Scottish in the front seats. On another occasion when we went to see Cavalcade, Belle called to me to sing up when some of the war songs were being played. “You know them,” she said. I politely told her to be quiet, but laughingly she urged me to sing. One afternoon my wife and I, going through a West End store, stopped to admire a display of Catholic ornaments and statues. “The Light of the World” took our fancy. It was a beautiful piece of work, and we thought how well it would look on the little altar in our séance room. Just as I said that we could not afford to have it, Belle, whose voice sounded above our heads, chimed in: “Ask the man what it costs. Go on. It is pretty.” I called the assistant and asked the price of the figure. He told me, but before I had time to reply, Belle exclaimed: “Get it. It will be home tomorrow.” The assistant looked at me and I at him. At that moment, Belle again called out, “Get it.” As her voice appeared to come well above our heads, I had to conceal my amusement when the assistant looked in that direction. To save further embarrassment and explanations, I hurriedly gave orders for the figure to be sent to our home address. When we walked away from the counter I glanced round. I noticed the assistant’s bewildered expression. I venture to suggest that never before
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or since bad he heard an order given by a spirit entity. Probably he thought it was some kind of ventriloquism. As we were going down the main staircase, Belle, in a bantering tone, repeated: “We’ve got it. It will be home tomorrow.” In order not to attract the attention of people, I asked Belle to keep quiet. We have heard spirit voices under all kinds of conditions and circumstances. There are three outstanding events which I propose to record. Here is one of them described by Mr. J. Curr: “I heard thirty spirit voices, all of them speaking in white light. We had met in the house of a friend, eight of us, to have a social evening. Mr. Perriman was playing the piano and we were all singing, when suddenly a male voice was heard saying, ‘Hello,’ from the vicinity of the door. We greeted the voice, which was followed by others, until each member of the company spoke to ‘dead’ friends. “The climax was reached when a voice said, ‘I am so glad to get through,’ and gave a message for his wife. This man had been one of the ushers at the Aeolian Hall experiment. He passed on four months afterwards. Every spirit spoke to us in light. There were two lamps, one a hundredwatt and the other sixty-watt. All the voices were identified by people in the room as belonging to ‘dead’ relatives or friends. “The voices ranged in intensity, some so loud that they could be heard above the singing, while others spoke in modulated whispers. On one occasion, while I was talking to Mrs. Perriman and she was replying, I heard a spirit voice speaking at the same time as she did, but from a point that seemed to be six inches behind her neck. One communicator spoke in Polish and was recognised by a sitter as his mother. “I watched Mrs. Perriman when the spirit voices spoke to us, but there was no visible contact with the medium. If they used her larynx, how was she able to speak at the same time? The impromptu séance lasted for nearly two hours and a half, with spirit voices coming and going during that time. Some of the conversations were so intimate that I cannot possibly record them. It was touching to witness the reunions between families who had lost the physical presence of their loved ones.” Another outstanding happening occurred when we were visiting friends in the country and it was casually suggested we should have a sitting that evening. We agreed to try the experiment in the garden.
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When it was dusk, with our three friends, we went to the bottom of the garden. We took rugs, as it was chilly. An umbrella was fixed to keep out, as much as possible, lights from passing traffic. Before long it was found that too much light was being reflected from the headlights of cars and from neighbours’ windows, so we moved to a more shaded spot. Even then there was some light, but the séance went on. We noticed that the medium appeared to be covered with some luminous substance. We could see her quite clearly in spite of the gloom. The voices spoke apparently from the air, Belle being the first. Then came the father of one sitter. He gave very good evidence, mentioning family names and telling of incidents which were at once recognised. There was remarkable evidence for a woman sitter. A child’s voice gave its name, but the sitter did not recognise it. Eventually, as the child went on talking, the sitter realised that she was talking to the “dead” daughter of a great friend. The conversation was a surprise to her, especially in view of the fact that she had never before experienced anything of this nature. Then came the Rev. Dr. Coulthard. He gave a lengthy address, and spoke to his son. My wife had a talk with her brother who was killed at Zeebrugge, and I had a short talk with my mother. The séance was remarkable, having regard to the close proximity of the garden to a main London road with its continual stream of motor traffic. During the séance, psychic lights flitted around our feet. The other outstanding happening occurred one New Year’s Eve when we had a friend visiting us for the evening. We had promised another friend that we would telephone just after midnight with our New Year’s wish. The three of us were in the room when I put through the call. We did not bother to switch on the electric light. As I was talking over the telephone, Belle called out, “A Happy New Year, Mrs. S—.” I held the receiver to my ear. “Why, that’s Belle!” said our friend. “A Happy New Year to you. It’s wonderful to hear you speak over the phone.” Belle then sent her love to the woman’s husband, son and daughter. After Belle had completed her greetings, a masculine voice announced itself as Victor. He spoke for some time to the same woman at the other end of the line some miles away. He mentioned various family names
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and then repeated a motto, “Black as the raven’s wings.” Another voice said it was that of Alan, and he also sent New Year greetings and mentioned names. When the voices had finished, our friend told me she had heard them very clearly. “It was all evidential,” she said. Alan was her husband’s “dead” brother and Victor a close friend who had stayed with them before his passing. The motto he repeated was on his family crest, and it was something the medium could not have known. The point which interested was that I was holding the telephone receiver to my ear all the time the conversation between our friend and the spirit voices was going on. Neither our friend in the room nor the medium could hear what was being said by Mrs. S— at the other end of the line. Yet, despite the fact that I did not repeat what was being said, the spirit communicators, by some mysterious means, could hear what she was saying and answer her questions. How they managed this, I am unable to say. After the telephone incident, we went into the séance room, where fifteen spirit voices spoke to us. Right at the end, Belle promised to try to give our friend a New Year present. When the lights were put on, he placed his cupped hand beneath that of the medium. His other hand was placed on top of hers, then her remaining hand and my two hands. For several minutes we waited, then our friend exclaimed that his lower hand had become hot. At that moment, he said that he felt something drop into his hand. We found a pendant, in the form of a cross, inlaid with flowers made with beads, not unlike mosaic work. CHAPTER NINETEEN PARALYSIS DISAPPEARS DURING TRANCE A woman was anxious to have a series of trance sittings with my wife to obtain material for a book. The medium had never given a trance sitting. She objected, as I did, to this form of mediumship. The woman pleaded for an exception to be made. I refused to allow my wife to be used in this way until I had discussed the project with one of the spirit controls. We held a little sitting for this purpose, and Flora, my wife and I talked the matter over. It was only on Flora’s assurance that no harm would
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befall the medium that we agreed. But I told Flora that if my wife complained of any ill-effects resulting from trance, I would not allow her to go on. I was not present at the trance sittings which followed, which were held in full light, neither had I seen the medium in trance. However, one morning I returned home while a sitting was in progress, and the maid told me that I was wanted in the séance room. On entering, I was greeted by our visitor, who said Belle had suggested I should come in if I returned home before it was over. Looking at the entranced medium, I could not help feeling amused at her gestures and demeanour. She was clapping her hands and kicking her feet, acting just like a child. I thought that if she could only see herself at that moment, she would never go in trance again. Belle’s voice came through her lips. “Good morning,” she said; “sit down and be quiet.” Belle then conversed with our visitor. All the time, I was closely watching the medium. I broke into the conversation with a request to Belle. I asked if she could write her name for me on a piece of paper. “Yes, give me a piece of paper and a pencil, and I will try,” she replied. She took pencil and paper from my hand, and then wrote the name Belle. Examining the signature, I found it to be a replica of one that had been written at a direct voice sitting, when seventeen signatures, all different, had appeared on a sheet of paper, without any earthly hands touching pencil and paper. Belle bade us “Good morning.” With her departure, the medium became her normal self, other than that she was still in trance. After a short interval, I noticed a complete change. This time her expression was totally unlike her own. Her face took on the appearance of a person with a strong personality. When the entity had obtained full control and spoke, I knew it was Flora. She greeted me in her rich dialect. After a while, she asked, “Where’s my bit of plaid?” Our visitor had given the medium a scarf of the Macdonald plaid, out of respect for Flora, and my wife wore it during these trance sittings. The scarf had fallen from her shoulders and had slipped down behind her. The visitor asked if she should retrieve it. “No,” said Flora, “I will get it myself.” She then reached behind and, doing a contortionist’s movement with the medium’s right arm, got hold of the scarf and put it on her shoulders.
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For a moment I was dumbstruck. As a gymnast and physical culture instructor when serving in the Army, I knew the movement of the arm, as performed by Flora, could be done only in the case of an abnormal setting of the shoulder joint. My wife’s joint was normal. When I had recovered, I confessed my surprise to Flora. “When I came into this room,” I told her, “the first thing I noticed was the medium kicking her feet and clapping her hands as a child would do. I was not so surprised when I realised that Belle was controlling her. When I asked Belle to write her name on a piece of paper, which she did, I sat up and took notice. That was a surprise in itself. But when I saw you twist the medium’s arm in the way you did when you reached for the scarf, I could not believe my own eyes.” “I have not hurt your wife’s arm, if that is what is worrying you,” said Flora. “It is not that with which I am concerned,” I answered, “but the fact that her arm was able to be used at all. That arm is paralysed. This morning is the first time I have seen it being moved since her illness.” My wife had had a serious illness caused by a clot of blood pressing on the brain and completely paralysing the whole of her right side. There was a partial recovery in the leg, enabling her to limp, but there was no life at all in the arm, which was supported in a sling. The twiddling of the fingers when Belle was in control was the first unusual happening I observed when I entered the séance room. I knew that my wife, in her normal condition, had no motive power in either fingers or arm. It was for this reason I had asked Belle to write her name on a piece of paper. She grasped the pencil firmly, and wrote her name boldly. At the same time I asked her to shake hands with me. I wanted to test the motive power in the hand. As the result of the handshake I realised the motor nervous system was functioning normally. I asked Flora if she could explain the phenomenon. Her reply was: “When we control a human being who is in a trance state, there are no physical disabilities so far as we are concerned. That is the reason why Belle was able to move the fingers and write, and I was able to reach for the scarf.”

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When the sitting was over, and the medium had come out of trance, I asked her to give me her right hand, without mentioning what had occurred. “I can’t,” she said. “But you can,” I urged. “You know very well that I can’t,” she replied. “But try,” I insisted. I got hold of her hand and asked her to grip mine. There was no power, and it hung limply and lifeless. My wife wanted to know what it was all about, and what I was doing in the séance room, as I was not there at the beginning. I explained what had happened, but she would not believe me. I then showed her Belle’s signature and this, together with our visitor’s affirmation, convinced her that what I had said was true. Her only regret was that the power in the arm had not remained. CHAPTER TWENTY SAVED PROM SUICIDE It may be asked, “What have these experiences meant to me and the many who shared them?” The best way to answer is, I think, by relating one of the scores of pathetic cases that came to us. A sitting had been arranged through a society for one of its members. We were not told beforehand the name of the sitter, or whether it would be a woman or a man. A woman arrived and handed me a letter of introduction which contained nothing that would reveal her identity. We noticed how sad and worn she was, and we felt there was a great bitterness in her heart. To ease the strained feelings, I asked if she had ever sat before, and she told me she had not. I explained that it was impossible to guarantee results. If nothing happened after fifteen minutes the sitting would be closed. At the time, all our sittings were held in the dark. We had not reached the stage where we could have red light. I asked if she objected to sitting in the dark, or would in any way be afraid, and she said, “No.” We retired to our séance room, and placed the visitor in a comfortable armchair, about four feet away from the medium. I sat with the gramophone on the opposite side of the room.

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After Belle had greeted the visitor, a voice, loud and strong, called out, “Mother! I am here,” and gave his full name. “Mother, how glad I am that you have come here,” he continued. “Mother darling, Father is with me. We are both here. Mother, I am being helped to speak like this because I have something important to say to you. By this time he was very excited and emotional. I suggested it would be better if he could calm himself. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am talking to my mother. I don’t know you.” I explained that I was trying to help. “Mother!” said the boy. “Father and I are terribly worried about you. We have had a hard task in saving you from yourself. It is not your time to come over here, and if you do what is in your mind, you won’t join us, as you think you will. Promise me, Mother, that what you had in mind to do when you came here this evening you will not do when you leave here. That is why I am here tonight, and why I am being helped to speak like this. “Darling Mother, we know you are lonely, and how much you miss us. Don’t blame yourself about me. You did all you could, but it was the wish of the Loving Father that I should come over here. We are sorry that you have been left alone, but we want you to know that we can come to you at home and bring our love and help. You may not see us, but we are there all the same. Here, Mother, take this from me with all my love and father’s, too.” He handed his mother a rose which had been taken from a vase, showed his spirit light and then kissed his mother. Her husband and other relatives spoke to her much in the same strain as her son had done. When the sitting was over, and we had adjourned to another room, our visitor thanked us. “Shall I tell you to what my son was referring?” she said. “If it will cause you any distress, it would be as well not to mention anything,” I replied. However, she insisted. She explained her terrible grief and bitterness at the tragic loss of her husband and her only son, and was of the opinion that no loving God existed. She had tried several times to end it all, but somehow fate stepped in and prevented her. She had fully made up her mind before coming to us that our door would be the last one she knocked on before throwing herself into the Thames.

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It was a very different person who left our house that evening. Incidentally, the Thames was robbed of its victim. The thought of rotting in the grave after our demise makes us shudder. If our experiences have proved nothing else, they have exploded one fallacy, that of lying in the grave until Gabriel sounds the great reveille. But they have done more than that. We have learned that the true value of life is in the service of others, that by serving our fellow-man in the spirit of brotherhood and good fellowship we are doing the will of God. “By your works you will be known, not by your religion,” is one of the statements often quoted by those who come back to tell us what we must do. “To label yourself Roman Catholics, Church of England, Nonconformists, Spiritualists or any one of the many denominations does not afford you entry into the spiritual home of love and understanding,” we are told. There is no creed, dogma, class distinction or colour bar in the other life. There is only one religion, service to others. It is against the spiritual laws, we are told, that when God has provided His people with ample supplies for their needs, a small section should enjoy the plenty while the majority often have to go short. It is the selfishness and greed of those people, whose only ambition in life is to attain power and position that are responsible for the chaotic state of the world. Whatever our nationality, colour or creed, we are all God’s children, and as such we should share equally the bounty He has to offer. “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” When I hear certain clergy say that it is the Devil’s messengers whom we contact, I am forced to smile. I know my mother was not an angel. Neither am I, nor anybody else for that matter. But one thing I know. My mother would never advise me, from the “other world,” to do anything wrong in the sight of God any more than she would have done when she was on earth.

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